Mélo (1986)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Mélo Photos

Movie Info

Director Alain Resnais faithfully adapted his script for Melo from a 1929 play by Henry Bernstein--the first time that Resnais handled his own screenplay. Violinists and lifelong friends Pierre Arditi and Andre Dussolier have each found happiness in adulthood, but only Dussolier has become famous. Ardati leads a contented life with his wife, Sabine Azema, little suspecting that she is enamored of Dussolier. An abortive plan to murder her husband leads to Azema's suicide, but Ardati remains blissfully unaware of her infidelities. When the truth is revealed to Ardati, Dussolier honors the memory of Azema by insisting that no illicit romance ever occurred. One of the more "linear" of Resnais' works, Melo, filmed in 1986, was given a general American release three years later.
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Pierre Arditi
as Pierre Belcroix
Sabine Azéma
as Romaine Belcroix
André Dussollier
as Marcel Blanc
Fanny Ardant
as Christiane Levesque
Jacques Dacqmine
as Dr. Remy
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Mélo

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

Resnais invests the original meaning of "melodrama" (drama with music) with exceptional beauty and power, cutting and moving his camera with impeccable dramatic logic to give their performances maximum voltage.

Full Review… | April 24, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

What's miraculous about Mélo is that the material never grows hysterical and feels blocked in or trapped by the stage.

Full Review… | March 6, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

s he grew older, Alain Resnais revealed the wistful sentimentalist behind the formalist pathfinder of Hiroshima Mon Amour and Muriel.

Full Review… | February 20, 2008
Slant Magazine

It dishes out dollops of pain from among the Brahms' sonatas, and melodramatics that were dated long ago.

Full Review… | January 30, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Mélo


[font=Century Gothic]When I saw Alain Resnais' latest film, "Private Fears in Public Places" last year, I remarked that its theatricality was an aberration. After seeing his 1986 film "Melo" last night, I stand corrected. Its very staginess cannot be disguised by any amount of camera movement. [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Melo" is a banal melodrama set in Paris in the 1920's. Romaine(Sabine Azema) and Pierre(Pierre Arditi) are a happily married couple whose bliss is only marred by their childlessness. They are joined one evening for dinner by an old friend, Marcel(Andre Dussollier). By the time he departs, he extends an open invitation to the couple to come by and visit him to hear him play the violin. In the next scene, it is Romaine who has done so alone, initiating an affair with Marcel.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]By the way, Marcel is something of a hypocrite, having terminated a serious relationship in the past because he jealously felt his lover was lying to him. Now, he betrays a close friend in an adulterous affair with his wife, which is by its very nature rooted in lies. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


After failing to connect with a couple of Resnais' recent films, a friend suggested that "Melo" would put his current work in context. Or, if not, at least I could see how his shift to stage adaptations began. I doubt that I'll ever feel as strongly about his late period as I do about his initial foray into cinema, but this is an admirable film. That he's able to open with a 30 minute after-dinner conversation AND keep my attention speaks volumes about his attention to detail and the quality of his cast. Even though he uses a few techniques to downplay the script's inherent melodrama, I still can't comprehend why he abandoned many of his avant garde leanings for a run-of-the-mill temptress tale. Maybe it'll come into focus when I'm old and grey.

Richard Stracke
Richard Stracke

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