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A Nos Amours (The Criterion Collection) (1983)

Sandrine Bonnaire , Maurice Pialat  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sandrine Bonnaire
  • Directors: Maurice Pialat
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IHSQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,982 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Nos Amours (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer  
  • Original theatrical trailer  
  • New and improved English subtitle translation  
  • New video interviews with Catherine Breillat and Jean-Pierre Gorin  
  • 2003 interview with actor Sandrine Bonnaire  
  • The Human Eye, a 1999 documentary on the film  
  • Archival interview with Pialat on the set  
  • Actor auditions  
  • A booklet featuring essays by critics Molly Haskell and Kent Jones and interviews with Pialat and cinematographer Jacques Loiseleux

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With his raw style of filmmaking, Maurice Pialat has been called the John Cassavetes of French cinema, and the scorching À nos amours is one of his greatest achievements. In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a sixteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, À nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema.

Some viewers might watch A nos amours--about a young woman who uses sexual encounters as a refuge from family strife--seeking something salacious; those viewers will likely be traumatized by the movie's startling, raw, and disturbing emotional force. Sandrine Bonnaire (Vagabond, Monsieur Hire) makes her remarkable debut as Suzanne, who at 15 has a mix of tender and hollow experiences with men. But when her father (played by the movie's maverick director, Maurice Pialat) leaves, her brother and mother implode and turn their frustrations on Suzanne with brutal force. Pialat (Loulou, Van Gogh), like John Cassavetes (A Woman Under the Influence), uses a deceptively simple style to capture performances that seem almost painfully naked and unfiltered by an actor's consciousness. Pialat is particularly attuned to the interplay of the family--you can almost touch the emotional threads between father, daughter, brother, and mother as they struggle with and against each other. When the absent father returns home in the middle of a dinner party, the tension pops off the screen. The intimacy of A nos amours is an amazing achievement--sometimes hypnotic, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes heartbreaking, always compelling. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By dooby
"A Nos Amours" (To Our Loves) marks the stunning debut of French actress Sandrine Bonnaire, then aged 16. She plays 15-year old schoolgirl Suzanne who stands precariously on the cusp of womanhood. It is one of the more disturbing coming-of-age films to have been made in recent years. Maurice Pialat's film tracks an adolescent girl's descent into a cycle of sexual self-destruction. He doesn't give any reasons for it. He just shows what happens using disconnected snippets of her life; at summer camp, in school, at home and with her friends. Why she implodes is never explained but left to the viewer to work out.

We first see her at a Drama Camp where she is shown rehearsing Musset's play "Don't trifle with love" (On ne badine pas avec l'amour). She sneaks out in the evenings for trysts with her boyfriend Luc whom she coyly refuses to have sex with. Then on a whim she picks up an American tourist whom she beds. After the American's callous "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" (the polite nitwit actually says "thank you" after deflowering her), she retorts with a coldly cynical, "you're welcome, it's free," and there begins her spiral of destruction.

When she confesses her fling to Luc, he breaks up with her and she goes, as the blurb says, on a "sexual rampage," bedding practically anything with a pulse.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Life's no fun when you don't love anyone"........ March 17, 2008
As interesting as this film might be Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire, first role) probably never even able to have any sustained happiness, she is a attention seeker who slowly falls out of existence. "It's as if my heart had run dry." While we almost never see her alone, the distance between her and her family, friend Martine (Maite Maille), and boyfriend Luc (Cyr Boitard) multiplies quickly. Luc, not knowing how to deal with her emotional state or lack thereof, asks some questions to try to figure her out. As her father says to Suzanne, "you're so stubborn, you'll never say why," although that assumes there's a sensible answer. Eventually Luc gives up on their relationship, which is down to them sitting next to each other staring silently into nothingness.

Michel Pialat directs himself as the father of Suzanne whose apparently happy family life is torn apart by inner tensions. Pialat walks out on the family, without explanation, but you suspect he is unable to cope with Suzanne's growing promiscuity and his neurotic wife. This film does have a clever script that gives you the sense that even when people want to communicate, there are things words can't say. This might explain the outbreaks of violence, shocking in its immediacy and apparent lack of choreography, especially between mother and daughter and brother and sister. You would see this with all the face and head slapping that goes on this household.

On the plus side, what I like about Pialat's work here as a director though is that he makes us so self-conscious and uncomfortable. There's nothing melodramatic, conventional, comforting, or condescending about his presentation. In fact, in search of realism the entire film is anal about seeming totally unplanned.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange and oddly nerving family relations August 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film starring the marvelous Sandrine Bonnaire is extremely difficult to rate, namely because I neither liked or disliked it. I simply found it odd. The story centers around a young girl(Bonnaire) and her endless search for how to relate to people. She goes through a number of relationships with men/boys, and comes out no different, and then this story is complicated by her relationships with her father and brother who both flirt with her. the mother is in this familial mess as well, bursting into brief rages in which she beats her daughter, then her son, then kisses her son and falls on her bed trembling. One doesn't know how to approach this film, because it is just so strange-which in itself is a compliment, since many of the films that are around are simply banal. See this film if you are in the mood for a kind of study or glimpse into an unusual family, and confusing times for a female approaching adulthood. Another moment for you to better understand the oddness in this film is when Bonnaire wakes up in the morning and is completely naked. Her mother enters the room and looks at her daughter commenting how she should wear more as Bonnaire just stares at her. Another is when Bonnaire invites a female friend to rest with her in her bed, and the friend states that Bonnaires father is handsome, and when Bonnaires father enters the room is is obvious how titillated he is by seeing his daughter and another girl in the same bed. Quite repulsive this scene is! These scenes give you a little insight into this film to help you better understand if it is a film you would be interested in watching. It is not a film that you leave gleaming at how wonderful or frowning at how terrible it is- you just leave quietly thinking.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Of Detail
A lonely girl looks to boys for affection and distraction from her toxic home life. None of her family seem to understand that what she is doing is a direct result of their... Read more
Published 13 months ago by mr. contrarian

Published 22 months ago by HAN XIAO
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star...kidding, right?
After about 20 minutes into this movie, you could tell the lack of acting, direction and story. I only picked it up because Criterion released it, and what a mistake. Read more
Published on August 2, 2008 by Jonathan B. Rollins
5.0 out of 5 stars No s Amours
A Very good first class film,& very fast delivery service highly recommended
Published on January 11, 2007 by Malcolm Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars a film about teens and sex
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

À nos amours is about girl in her mid teens who is experimenting with sex and has numorous... Read more
Published on July 29, 2006 by Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nos Amours-See It
"A Nos Amours" is a French film that was directed by Maurice Pialat, a director I heard recently died. Read more
Published on July 21, 2006 by Joshua Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars teenage, love and sex
Maurice Pialat died a few weeks ago and he can't be compare to any of the other french directors, if you would like to compare him to someone it will be to john Cassavetes. Read more
Published on April 24, 2003
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