Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Nelly is behind on her rent and saddled with an unemployed and uninterested husband. When she meets Monsieur Arnaud, an older and wealthier man, Nelly sees a chance to escape from poverty and loneliness. Arnaud enlists her help with transcribing his memoirs and, as their unconventional relationship blossoms, barely-contained emotions threaten to break free.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Rialto Pictures


Michel Serrault
as Monsieur Arnaud
Francoise Brion
as M. Arnaud
Danièle Lebrun
as Nelly's Mother
Claire Nadeau
as Jacqueline
Michèle Laroque
as Isabelle
Michael Lonsdale
as Dollabella
Jean-Pierre Lorit
as Christophe
Coraly Zahonero
as Marianne
Graziella Delerm
as Laurence
Olivier Pajot
as Jean-Marc
Karine Foviau
as Sandrine
Laure Chamay
as Girl in the Bistro
Sylvie Jobert
as Valerie
Judith Vittet
as Benedicte
Mathilde Vitry
as The Judge
Angelin Preljocaj
as Monsieur Toux
Thierry Heckendorn
as Director P.A.O.
Abel Jafri
as Ami Taieb
Philippe Lelievre
as Manager of the Printers
Suzy Marquis
as Madame Toux
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (10)

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

It glows with sorrowful humor in its look at two people who seem just right for each other but don't have time on their side.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's reserved, polished and challengingly intelligent.

December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top 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.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud


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.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


a quiet but engaging movie that seems now like a period piece no cell phones macs, tablets etc but was current in 1995 Beart reminds me of a french angelina joolie great performances by all as a woman changes her life sheds her good for nothing loafer husband and begins to build a new life for herself with the help of a friend's former lover.

Gregory Wood
Gregory Wood

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