Thursday, October 27, 2011

Un coeur en hiver (1992)****

 Reviewed by Shu Zin

UN COEUR EN HIVER is a strange little film written and directed by Claude Sautet. It is about as French as it gets. Daniel Auteuil is the guy with the heart in hibernation, and he assumes this role with subtlety and finesse. As a gifted maker of violins, he drives just about everybody in his life a little crazy with his detached silence, his passive aggression. It is easy to find him detestable. This story takes place over about a year, when he becomes involved with a beautiful young violinist, Camille Kessler, played by the lovely and vulnerable Emmanuelle Beart. 

There is a great deal of emotional and sexual tension in this quiet, odd film, but somehow, everyone seems real and credible. And utterly French in sensibility, right down to the foppish, uneasy, self-conscious discussion of aesthetics we are privileged to see and snicker at. One of the greatest aspects of this puzzling, disquieting film is the lovely score, brimming with violin sonatas and trios by Debussey. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Shu Zin

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