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A Heart in Winter (Un coeur en hiver) (A Heart of Stone) (1993)


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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 3,989

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Movie Info

Daniel Auteuil and Emmanuelle Béart from Manon of the Spring (1986) co-star once again in Un Coeur en Hiver, playing characters whose distance from each others' lives belies the enormous emotional impact they have on one another. Directed by Claude Sautet, whose 40-year career included the Oscar-winning César et Rosalie (1972), Un Coeur en Hiver is a remarkably restrained film with torrents of feeling just under the surface. Auteuil plays Stephane, partner in an exclusive violin brokerage. His

Nov 7, 2006

Koch Lorber Films

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2) | DVD (5)

A compelling, intricately structured, and beautifully acted psychodrama.

July 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The real story in this movie is Daniel Auteuil's shattering performance.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for A Heart in Winter (Un coeur en hiver) (A Heart of Stone)

Good, but slightly unengaging film about a violin player (Emmanuel Beart) who becomes romantically involved with a man and then realizes she is falling for his emotionally distant business partner. I would assume the disengagement is intentional, as it does fit with the general theme of the movie.
Not a terrible lot happens, the actual story is slight. It is, however, beautifully filmed and well cast with a lot of violin music thrown into it. (Not personally a fan, but even to me it sounded pretty good). There is also no nudity in this, so those looking for a French film of a particular type probably need to look elsewhere!
This is a decent story dealing with emotional coldness, but it will definitely not appeal to all, so I would recommend, but with caution.
April 24, 2011

Super Reviewer

This is one of the most fascinating movies I've ever seen. I don't think I've ever seen an impossible love story like this one before: a woman falls in love with a man she can't have because he doesn't have the capacity for emotion. I found Stephane mesmerizing as an emotional zombie, and I was very happy that the filmmakers weren't tempted to portray his "wintry" heart as a desire to be cruel (which is how it is usually put onscreen). The damage he inflicts upon Camille is utterly accidental and nobody's fault, which makes it all the more tragic. I really relished the fact that Stephane's deadness is imperceptible to most people and in most situations, and that it might be the reason why he is the craftsman of violins, not thier player. So sad then that Camille ends up in the one situation where she would feel the full brunt of his void. I also loved the way his dying mentor recognizes his dead, hollow spot and finds a use for it in a single situation. I wish that theme were present in more films.
April 20, 2011

Super Reviewer

A moderately interesting look at a romantic triangle that never quite took off for this viewer, nor for the characters in this brooding film. Stephane (Daniel Auteuil) and Maxime (Andre Dussollier) are partners in a violin shop, whose clientele includes some gifted classical musicians. Maxime becomes involved with Camille (Emmanuelle Beart), one of their clients. The beautiful Camille becomes infatuated with Stephane and this then forms the central conflict of the film. Ms Beart is radiantly beautiful and displays a certain immaturity that becomes believable, given the isolating nature of her profession. However, as a romantic drama, this seemed as cold and lifeless as Stephane's reaction to Camille's declaration of love. This viewer found the drama too subtle and the reactions too melancholic for his taste and never really connected with the story, or the characters. A disappointing film given the star-power of the cast.
December 16, 2010
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

"Music is the stuff of dreams."

Despite the implications within the title, I was not expecting such austerity. The heart under examination belongs in fact to withdrawn luthier Daniel Auteuil and is the object of frustration to his business partner's mistress, violinist Emmanuelle Beart. Usually those roles are the other way around, at least in American films, so that represents something of a divergence.

Auteuil is a master at his profession and draws all of his satisfaction in life from his work and the sounds his instruments create. He is not a recluse but cannot open up to anyone and finds no value in emotional attachments. Through no fault of his own devising, he eventually finds himself at odds with his closest associates. The message seems to be that if you repress your ability to feel emotion, you're actually hurting yourself even worse. In fact Auteuil expresses a line to that effect in her apartment. The final shot of Beart pulling her eyes away from the cafe window where Auteuil sits as her car drives off is rather haunting and we are left in his shoes wondering what could have been.

Other than violin passages at rehearsals and recording sessions, there is interestingly no soundtrack so we feel the same cold vacant space that Auteuil otherwise occupies. Although I have long suspected, I am now convinced enough to put in writing: Emmanuelle Beart is the most beautiful actress since Grace Kelly. And watching a beautiful woman playing beautiful music is my idea of heaven on earth. She practiced the violin every day for one year to prepare for this role, and the results pay off - naturally they overdubbed in postproduction (one year doesn't turn you into a virtuoso) but she actually plays all the complicated pieces and convincingly demonstrates that she could handle them.
October 1, 2011
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Ein Herz im Winter (DE)
  • Un Coeur en hiver (UK)
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