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Private Fears In Public Places [2007] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Sabine Azema, Lambert Wilson, Andre Dussollier, Pierre Arditi, Laura Morante
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov. 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UZPM6W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,644 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Established as one of French cinema's great masters, Alain Resnais has made one of his most accomplished films to date with this sparkling adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn's acclaimed comedy of manners. The film follows the lives of six characters whose lives and stories intersect: Nicole (Laura Morante) and her unemployed partner Dan (Lambert Wilson); their estate agent Thierry (André Dussollier) who attempts to charm his alluring but saintly assistant Charlotte (Sabine Azéma), while his sister (Isabelle Carré) looks for love with the help of Lionel (Pierre Arditi), a bartender who hides a secret heartbreak. Exploring the themes of loneliness and longing with great humour and compassion, Resnais artfully interweaves an intricate mosaic of scenes into a wonderfully entertaining and satisfying whole. SPECIAL FEATURES: Interview with Sabine Azéma and Lambert Wilson / Theatrical trailer / Director, Writer & Cast Biographies

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J.E.T on 20 July 2008
Format: DVD
Renasis' film captures several citizens of Paris whose daily lives are filled with a quest for love, which unfortunately seems unobtainable.

There are several main characters, who span the ages groups, and all find themselves interlinked in some way. First is couple Nicole and Dan, who are searching for a flat with the help of estate agent Thierry. Thierry's assistant in the estate agents is Charlotte, who help to care for a bartender named Lionel's father at night when he works. A regular at his bar is Dan, who later meets Gaelle, the sister of Thierry.

The stories are interwoven very well and the imagery in this film is very effective. We are constantly shown images of snow falling which reflect the cold and bleak world that the citizens seem to live in, never quite getting what they want and falling at several hurdles.

Possibly the most interesting character is Charlotte who, although is not happy, seems to have found some shelter in a private world she has built herself and in her faith in the christian religion. However, the other characters are well deveoped too and enjoyable to watch.

This film suitably depicts loneliness and the darkness that can seep in to life. It is a good look at relationships, and although it does not really teach the viewer anything per se, it is a very interesting story which gives a further insight into human emotion that not many films manage.

I really enjoyed this film. It was beautifully filmed and directed and really captured the essence of life and how there are many twists and turns that can catapult you in to a variety of situations that link you to people in strange ways.

Not the most amusing or happy film, this is one that may make you think and reflect on your own life.

The DVD has no special features and is in French, but subtitled.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By technoguy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love when the French get hold of something English and make it their own. They did it well with Summer Things. Now they've done it with this Alan Ayckborn's stage play.The snow falling throughout the film is a surrealistic device that unites all the lonely people whose stories are all interconnected.This is the great Alain Renais who uses what was farce about bourgois anxieties to turn into metaphysical melancholy about people who are all stuck in the same web trying to break free.There's no spider in this web or resolution to the stories.One of the scenarios seems to come from a Beckett play with an off-camera sickly father issuing obscenities and commands from his bed.Everybody is seeking for something but they usually pick the wrong person.There is a beautiful humour at work that allows the characters to breath their own humanity.Each scene is so carefully crafted and so finely realized that each leads through falling snow onto the next.Go see it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of those essentially inconsequential films that packs a punch (if not necessarily a message). Based on an Alan Ayckbourn play; people are busy being quite as unhappy in Paris in the film as they are in Scarborough in the play. They are in toxic relationships, failing to identify what they need and how to get it. None of them are particularly likeable or particularly loathsome and yet all are huddled together where they fell (or were born) waiting for Something. The oddly un-French character (the Christian lady with a sideline is, paradoxically, the one closest to escape.

I liked the snow in the house moment.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on 16 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
The Paris of Alain Resnais' "Private Fears in Public Places" ("Coeurs" <"Hearts"> in France) is a cold, heartless place. A place in which people attempt to meet, talk at rather than with each other and try their best to make a real connection but that is not to be as the vagaries of life invariably get in their way.
All of the characters are of middle age: 40-60 years of age. These are people who have achieved a certain amount of success but whose personal lives are as messy as any 20 year olds.
The décor of "PFPP" plays a major role here: all hard, shiny surfaces, bright, fake colors that do not exist in nature...all of these things contribute to the erzatz 1970's feel of Resnais mise en scene: there is no doubt that the sets are indeed sets as Resnais makes no claim to reality here even going to extreme lengths to open up the 3rd wall and film from above.
Laura Morante, eye-poppingly beautiful as Nicole: frustrated with her fiancé, Dan (Lambert Wilson, recently separated from the Army and at odds and ends with what he is going to do for the rest of his life) are the most interesting of all the couples and quasi-couples. Nicole and Dan circle each other only fitfully making anything resembling contact. They dispassionately argue, they fake romance: they are empty vessels and seem happy to remain as such.
"Private Fears in Public Places" is bright and shiny though at times it gets dark particularly when the incessant snowfall gets denser. Resnais is after obfuscation here. He seeks to muddy what we want made clear. His people are symbols, not real, thoughtful human beings: they seek succor and immediate pleasure and enlightenment. What they get is God's hand squashing them like bugs.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Interesting version of Ayckbourne's play. Not convinced by the casting re the age of characters or some of the symbolic additions but as there was not a film of the original this made for good discussion when comparing it to the play text. The interviews are quite useful & aid understanding of this interpretation.
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