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Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1996)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 848

My Rating

Movie Info

Almost a follow-up to director Claude Sautet's Un Coeur en Hiver (1992), Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud further explores repressed emotions and failed relationships. Nelly (Emmanuelle Béart), an attractive young woman, is six months behind in her rent and struggling with odd jobs, while her husband (Charles Berling) lies in bed reading newspapers and watching TV. Her friend Jacqueline introduces her to Pierre Arnaud (Michel Serrault), a retired judge and wealthy ex-businessman, who offers to settle

Mar 8, 2005

New Yorker

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1) | DVD (3)

Writer-director Sautet's great achievement is to introduce a world of undefinable impulses; the two actors' great achievement is to step into that world and experience them.

September 4, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a fine appreciation for the nuances of polite repression, Sautet makes a quiet, careful study of these two lonely people.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's one sign of Sautet's success that, though he presents neither character as especially admirable or exceptional, he makes us care about them a great deal.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a matter of great erotic fascination when two people are intrigued by the notion of becoming lovers, but are held back by the fear of rejection _and_ the fear of involvement.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These are two great actors giving top-notch performances, and the restrained romance they project is fascinating.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Impeccably performed psychodrama about the search for intimacy.

August 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The film's structure and resolute lack of closure deeply subvert American expectations of how a movie should be, how a movie should work and how a story is told. But it's worth a look, however quizzical.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Takes a familiar French story of a May-December romance and renders it with unexpected nuance and uncommon wisdom.

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Movieline
Movieline

Sautet makes movies about the you that you think only you know.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

[Sautet's] insights into human nature are revealing, if extremely subtle.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Sautet avoids the pitfalls of the usual May-December romance by eschewing all the cliches.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

These characters are so realistically drawn that I did not for a minute think I was observing actors, rather I was eavesdropping on real life.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Audience Reviews for Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud

I'm a sucker for Emmanuelle Beart films but I truly enjoy them from an artistic point of view. Nelly works well with Arnaud despite their difference in "years of experience". Chalk up another compelling French drama.
January 30, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Or, There's Something About Nelly as seemingly everyone she meets tries to get closer. This slice-of-life film is as slicey-of-lifey as they come. There are no moral judgments or psychological analyses, what you see is what you get - a period of several months from the time Nelly meets a wealthy elderly man to when he leaves for an extended period of time. We see snippets of their lives and their friends' lives, but inner identities and motivations remain guarded secrets. I considered giving 4 stars for the excellent acting craftsmanship, but upon assessing my experience after it was over, without any deeper message the film seems rather "slight." If there is an underlying message, I guess it is that the choices we must make in life affect others as much as they affect ourselves. If you enjoyed Emmanuelle Béart in Un Coeur en Hiver, again directed by Claude Sautet, you'll certainly appreciate her performance and otherworldly beauty in this one too.
October 20, 2012
DrStrangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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