Muriel

Critics Consensus

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85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 730
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Movie Info

Antiques dealer Hélène Aughain (Delphine Seyrig) lives in the small French village of Boulogne, along with her stepson, Bernard (Jean-Baptiste Thierrée), a veteran of the Algerian War. One day, Hélène's ex-lover Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Kérien) arrives, bringing with him a new mistress named Francoise (Nita Klein), as well as memories of the war and romance. However, this proves to be too much tension for one home, and jealousies, lusts and dark secrets soon lead to tragedy.

Cast & Crew

Delphine Seyrig
Hélène Aughain
Jean-Baptiste Thierrée
Bernard Aughain
Jean-Pierre Kérien
Alphonse Noyard
Nita Klein
Françoise
Claude Sainval
Roland de Smoke
Sacha Vierny
Cinematographer
Jacques Saulnier
Production Design
Lucilla Mussini
Costume Designer
Philippe Dussart
Production Manager
Antoine Bonfanti
Sound
Jean Cayrol
Writer (Adaptation)
Paul Colline
Original Song
Hans Werner Henze
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return)

Critic Reviews for Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return)

  • Aug 06, 2014
    Films having an episodic structure simulating the dream realm can be either terrible alienating projects or very engaging puzzles. Give a puzzle to Resnais, and you've got an enygma, most probably indecipherable. Is that good? Truth to be told, not for everybody. It all begins simple. A middle-aged woman named Hélène lives with her stepson Bernard selling antique furniture. One day, she re-encounters with a man who was her lover more than 20 years ago. He makes a visit which unravels too many questions and confessions eager to be clarified. Tension rises. Arguments ensue. Meanwhile, Bernard is haunted by the memory of "Muriel", a woman she met while fighting in Algeria. He might have had some participation in a partially explained tragic outcome of Muriel, as his conscience spoken out loud suggests in fragments. Divided into two segments, the second one being divided itself into thousands, the film begins with a seemingly straightforward narrative for later shattering any possible narrative structure and simulating a dream. It is not entirely classifiable as a nightmare, but rather as a revelatory dream with disturbing moments, like most of them are in their lack of logical coherence. The pieces of the puzzle are more important to Resnais than their logical formation. That is why we saw experimentation with time and chronology in <i>Hiroshima mon Amour</i> (1959) and experimentation with symbolic narrative based on memory fragments in <i>Last Year at Marienbad</i> (1961). In this case, the ambitious purpose was to now experiment with both at the same time. Although the final product may result impenetrable for various viewers, it is impossible for us curious movie-watchers - who have a tendency to appreciate things visually as well - not to be captivated by this enygma the more complex it gets. The second half portrays a storm of memories, fantasies, arguments and revelations, which may result in a different panoramic view for every observer. The more fractured and frenetic the whole show became, the scarier it was, and the more attractive it got. Even if it didn't carry that groundbreaking impressionistic impact of the previous masterpieces by Resnais, it truly carries a trademark style that refuses to be classified as a French New Wave film, but as a class apart. And just like in a dream, everything here speaks truths, but most of them either disguised, fantasized or exaggerated. Cada persona es un mundo. 84/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2012
    If you want to spend 2 hours watching a movie that makes no sense and has no ending, go ahead...
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2010
    [font=Century Gothic]In "Muriel," Helene(Delphine Seyrig) lives in Boulogne with her grown son Bernard(Jean-Baptiste Thierree) where she sells antique furniture out of her apartment. An old flame, Alphonse(Jean-Pierre Kerien), has come to visit, along with his niece Francoise(Nita Klein). Sensing things are about to become crowded, Bernard decides to sleep in his studio.[/font] [font=Century Gothic]After the first night, "Muriel" jumps from scene to scene with abandon(the opening scene has an example of what is to come), barely giving the characters a chance to catch their breath as they are hurtled into the future.(This is about the only time when I have seen jump cutting used wisely. Figures it would be Alain Resnais to get it right.) But that does not mean they are not obsessed with the past which not only consumes Helene and Alphonse but also Bernard who is haunted by his actions in Algeria as a soldier where Alphonse also lived for the past fifteen years. In the end, both World War II and Algeria blur together in one remembrance of horror.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2008
    Oh God how I HATE HATE HATED this film in college. One of the most miserable film viewing experiences of my life. I suppose I should revisit it.
    Steve K Super Reviewer

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