Private Fears in Public Places
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Top Customer Reviews
All of the characters are of middle age: 40-60 years of age. These are people who have achieved a certain amount of success but whose personal lives are as messy as any 20 year olds.
The décor of "PFPP" plays a major role here: all hard, shiny surfaces, bright, fake colors that do not exist in nature...all of these things contribute to the erzatz 1970's feel of Resnais mise en scene: there is no doubt that the sets are indeed sets as Resnais makes no claim to reality here even going to extreme lengths to open up the 3rd wall and film from above.
Laura Morante, eye-poppingly beautiful as Nicole: frustrated with her fiancé, Dan (Lambert Wilson, recently separated from the Army and at odds and ends with what he is going to do for the rest of his life) are the most interesting of all the couples and quasi-couples. Nicole and Dan circle each other only fitfully making anything resembling contact. They dispassionately argue, they fake romance: they are empty vessels and seem happy to remain as such.
"Private Fears in Public Places" is bright and shiny though at times it gets dark particularly when the incessant snowfall gets denser. Resnais is after obfuscation here. He seeks to muddy what we want made clear. His people are symbols, not real, thoughtful human beings: they seek succor and immediate pleasure and enlightenment. What they get is God's hand squashing them like bugs.
Wonderful performances all around, wonderful music!
(Check out Laura Morante's other films!)
what Alain Resnais (director) and Éric Gautier (DP) provided was some vivid and unexpected imagery to counter the downbeat storyline - using snowflakes drifting down for scene transitions - complimenting the nuanced meandering tone of the dialog
the age group of the 6 characters has shifted upwards considerably from the play's thirty-somethings - but the actors were excellent - with sexy Sabine Azéma as the religious yet mischievous woman with 2 jobs my favorite
the only problem i had with the movie was in believing that Isabelle Carré would have trouble dating
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The acting, directing, and photography in this film are above average. The problem is the script, perhaps the worst play Alan Aycbourn ever wrote. Read morePublished on December 5, 2013 by C.A. Arthur
This was a good movie, but would have been much better if it wasn't trying too hard to light and funny. Read morePublished on January 24, 2013 by Charles Bennett
Beautifully performed and photographed, with striking artistic design, this film about lonely hearts in the city of love leaves you empty, sad, and feeling maybe a little cheated... Read morePublished on January 11, 2009 by Ronald Scheer
Paris is snowbound in this weird six degrees of separation style film about couples and others who are connected, but don't know it. Read morePublished on December 26, 2008 by Bradley F. Smith
Alain Resnais is famous for french new wave-films like Last Year in Marienbad, Hiroshima mon Amour and Muriel. Read morePublished on June 21, 2008 by MarkusG
In seminal works such as "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad," legendary French director Alain Resnais created a whole new vocabulary and grammar... Read more