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Un Coeur en Hiver ( A Heart in Winter )

4.6 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel Auteuil (Manon of the Spring) stars as Stephane, the curiously diffident co-owner of an exclusive violin brokerage and repair shop. A brilliant technician, Stephane can make any instrument live up to its promise, yet he himself is emotionally remote and disconnected from passionate experience. His partner, Maxime (André Dussollier), lacks Stephane's gifts but is rich in personality and desire. When Maxime's new lover, a violinist named Camille (Emmanuelle Béart), is drawn to Stephane's still waters, he is briefly moved, thus destroying the fragile, symbiotic relationship between all three individuals.

"Two Thumbs Up!" – Siskel & Ebert

"[it] has the intensity and delicacy of a great short story." – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"superb…haunting...full of unexpected beauty, richness and feeling" – Hal Hinson, Washington Post

WINNER – César Award, Best Director
WINNER – César Award, Best Supporting Actor
WINNER – Venice Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize
WINNER – Venice Film Festival, Silver Lion
WINNER – London Critics Circle Film Awards, Foreign Language Film of the Year
WINNER – European Film Awards, Best Actor
WINNER – David di Donatello Award, Best Foreign Actor, Best Foreign Actress
WINNER – David di Donatello Award, Best Foreign Film
WINNER – French Syndicate of Cinema Critics, Best Film

Special Features

  • In French with optional English subtitles
  • Newly restored HD transfer supervised by the film's director of photography, Yves Angelo
  • Four page booklet with essay by film critic Michel Boujut
  • Interview with the director
  • French TV appearances by director Claude Sautet and Andre Dussolier
  • Excerpt from the documentary Claude Sautet ou la Magie Invisible
  • Original French theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Béart, André Dussollier, Stanislas Carré de Malberg, Brigitte Catillon
  • Directors: Claude Sautet
  • Writers: Claude Sautet, Jacques Fieschi
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (PCM Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Un Coeur en Hiver ( A Heart in Winter )" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on May 25, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The title translates as "a heart in winter." A cold heart, bereft of love. A heart incapable of any emotion at all. That describes Stephane (Daniel Auteuil), a solitary violin maker and repairman. A man with the soul of an artist, but none of the talent.
Stephane is partnered with Maxime (Andre Dussollier) in a thriving business. Maxime is everything that Stephane is not: gregarious, confident, extroverted. Together they form a successful team. Maxime brings in the clients and Stephane does the work. They both are quite happy.
One day Maxime introduces Stephane to his new love, Camille (Emmanuel Beart), a beautiful violinist. He is cold to her at first, but the music she makes gradually stirs something in him. She in turns responds to him. She can sense that he has the heart of a musician, but something is wrong. Something is keeping him from opening his heart to anyone else. That something is music. Stephane is surrounded constantly by beautiful music, but none of it emanates from him.
We come to realize why Stephane, once a promising musician, gave up music. The sounds his fingers made could never equal the music he heard in his soul so he quit. Rather than risk the pain of further disappointment in life, he chose instead to feel nothing at all. If that meant forgoing love, it was a price that he had to pay.
Camille eventually confesses to Maxime that she is in love with his partner. Maxime is hurt, but what can he do? She goes to Stephane. We can see that he probably loves her as well, but still he refuses her. He will not allow her into his heart. She is hurt by this, but she has her music and Maxime and, perhaps, that is enough. She is too proud to play the woman scorned.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful French movie with subtitles, easily one of the best movies I have ever seen, I enjoyed it immensely, so much that I had to buy it to watch again and again.
The movie is about two men who own a violin shop and they both fall in love with a beautiful soloist who becomes their client, her violin is a wonderful sounding Vulliame with an incredible tone. There are wonderful performances of Ravel's trio and sonatas throughout the movie.
The movie makes a profound statement about violin making, musical interpretation, the awkwardness and inconvenience of true love, jealousy, death, inner feelings that are rarely spoken, how friendship can change over a woman, and how a man's heart has become frozen from a life of romantic solitude.
What I found most interesting about the plot is that we do not know if Camille and Stephen will eventually become lovers, he say he will attend her next recital in Paris and she drives away with Maxim looking at him with adoring eyes. Paris is like New York, you have to be big to play there so apparently by this time Camille has become popular. One thing we do know is that Stephen does have a life and says he is not worthless because of his abilities as a violin luthier. In the end, Stephan is left with his violins: woman or no woman we never know if he will be forever trapped in his frozen world...
Fans of "The Red Violin" will love this movie but I would recommend this to anyone who loves romance and violin performance, essential viewing and not to be missed.
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Format: VHS Tape
It's a fine art this violin tuning. Watching the characters in Claude Sautet's Un Coeur En Hiver (A Heart in Winter) as they debate the clarity, density and heaviness of that instrument's voice, you may think that it's all in their head. The beautiful instrument's incompetence nothing but a manifestation of their own insecurities. But then the process of watching this lovely film is, in itself, a fine art. In its delicate progress, the viewer is drawn in till he/she hears entire exchanges in a shared glance. Pain, humor, relief and agony in a moment of silence. Another person wondering in midway through the film may ask what in the world is so absorbing. There are scenes of great beauty in the film, there is a superb use of music, "those irrelevant dreams". But as in Sautet's somewhat lesser Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud, what is left unsaid, unresolved and unrequited is far more important then what is.
There are two sets of masters and their apprentices in the film. Maxime (Andre Dussollier) and his business partner Stephane (Daniel Auteuil). Together, they own a shop where the reticent Stephane builds and fixes violins with great precision, and Maxime handles the business and social side of things. Then there is Camille (Emanuelle Beart) and her agent Regine (Brigitte Cattilon). Both Camille and Stephane appear frigid at first, they channel all their energy into their work, while the others live their lives for them. It is a convenient way of life for Stephane, the Heart in Winter of the title. But Camille is still open, still warm enough to seek love. So when Maxime introduces Camille as his lover, there is visible hurt on Stephane's face. At first it seems that he is jealous of her, or him, but then I realised that he was jealous of their readiness to, and faith in love.
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