Cet Amour-La (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cet Amour-La (2003)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In the later years of her life, French author Marguerite Duras lives in a self-destructive haze, plagued by writer's block and the physical effects of alcoholism. She shuts herself off from the world, until Yann Andrea, a man thirty-six years her junior, pays her a visit, and soon, the two commence a passionate affair.
R (for language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Jeanne Moreau
as Marguerite Duras
Aymeric Demarigny
as Yann Andréa
Christiane Rorato
as Woman in a Smock
Sophie Milleron
as Night Nurse
Justine Levy
as Hospital Employee
Stanislas Sauphanor
as Buffet Waiter
Didier Lesour
as Barman
Tanya Lopert
as The Ambassador's Wife
Adrien Guilbert
as Oyster Stall Kid
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Cet Amour-La

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (14)

It's a tender, sympathetic film from a gifted writer-director, Algerian-born Josee Dayan, who obviously adores Moreau, Duras and literature.

November 13, 2003
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Like its subject, Cet Amour-La has a knack for making you focus on the beauty beneath the imperfections.

Full Review… | October 3, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

It is a great story, but it hasn't been translated to the screen.

Full Review… | September 20, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Alive and affecting.

Full Review… | June 27, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Cet Amour-Là founders on the difficulty that faces all movies about artists -- how to contextualize the work into the life without putting the audience to sleep.

June 26, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

[Moreau] now in her mid-70s, takes charge of her scenes with an iron-fisted authority that refuses to acknowledge the inert movie around her.

May 9, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cet Amour-La


[center][img]http://img437.imageshack.us/img437/9107/cetamour7si.jpg[/img][/center] (DVD) (First Viewing, 1st Dayan film) Sometimes I honestly wonder why I still watch movies. And I think this film is a good demonstration of why I do—to discover films like this one. The cover art on the DVD looks banal and trite, but the film it contains is magical, haunting—the kind of film that wraps around you like a blanket while you’re not paying attention. I was drawn in by the premise: a look at the tender, tortured relationship between Marguerite Duras, one of greatest writers of the 20th centuries and a great favorite of mine, and Yann Andrea Steiner, a young man with whose support during the last 16 years of her life she wrote many of her most famous novels, including her most important contribution to literature: the lyrical [I]L’Amant.[/I] On its surface, CET AMOUR-LA falls into that category I call “barely a wisp of a film”—a film so delicate, muted and intentionally limited in scope that it seems capable of dissolving into nothingness at any given moment. But hidden beneath this seemingly ephemeral surface a sea of raw emotions brewing, capable of exploding at any moment. The film intentionally avoids these moments—in fact, most of the major events of the story are implied, for to Duras, events aren’t meant to written as if to be re-experienced, they are something to be looked back on in reflection, leading to a deeper awareness of both the senses and the self. And that’s what this film attempts to do—to try and relate a story not by what it is or what it was, but by what it [I]means[/I]. This approach is tremendously risky and almost impossible to translate into visual terms (Duras herself may have been the only one to successfully pull this off in the cinematic medium through her own highly experimental films, namely [URL=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=29715&entryid=119979&view=public]INDIA SONG[/URL] and [URL=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=29715&entryid=120738&view=public]LA NAVIRE NIGHT[/URL]). As unexceptional as it might seem on the surface, CET AMOUR-LA is an incredibly brave film that dares to tell Duras’s story in a manner in which she would have wanted it to be told. For many viewers, Jeanne Moreau, who plays Duras, will be the main draw of the film. And she’s exceptional. Echoing [URL=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=175167&entryid=309915&view=public]the opening line of [i]L'Amant[/i][/URL], with her ravaged face, the ravaged voice, Moreau is a living, breathing embodiment of the ravages of time, and it makes her perfect for this role. Yet still I find it impossible to exactly what exactly it was about CET AMOUR-LA that impressed me so much, and moved me deeper than I had initially expected. It might be a “little wisp of a film,” but sometimes a feather-touch can yield more impact than a direct blow to the head. Or sometimes, as in this situation, a feather-touch [I]is[/I] a blow to the head.

Jesse Last
Jesse Last

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