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À nos amours(1983)
Suzanne is a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father, ineffectual mother, and brutish brother.
For more about À nos amours and the À nos amours Blu-ray release, see À nos amours Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 24, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Sandrine Bonnaire, Maurice Pialat, Christophe Odent
Director: Maurice Pialat
» See full cast & crew
À nos amours Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 24, 2013
Maurice Pialat's "A nos amours" a.k.a "To Our Loves" (1983) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French label Gaumont. The supplemental features on this release include the film's original theatrical trailer; new video interview with director and producer Dominique Maillet; new documentary feature produced by David Thompson; archival interviews with actress Sandrine Bonnaire and director Maurice Pialat; Xavier Giannoli's documentary film "L'oeil humain"; and a collection of screen tests. In French, with optional English and French SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
Fifteen-year-old Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire, La Cérémonie, Vagabond) needs someone to love her – truly, deeply, passionately. She dates different boys but none of them seem to understand what she needs. When they make love, it often feels like they are actors in an intimate play – they perform and after the fireworks lose interest in each other. Suzanne needs more. She needs someone to complete her.
Occasionally, Suzanne attempts to talk to her father (Pialat), but he rarely has enough time to listen to her. Like Suzanne, recently he has also discovered that no one seems to understand how he feels and started letting other people in his private life. His wife (Evelyne Ker, Classe tous risques), who has been struggling with depression, has chosen not to confront him. However, Suzanne's brother, Robert (Dominique Besnehard, Franck Spadone), a temperamental homosexual looking to establish himself in a highly competitive business field, has started blaming his sister for the family's troubles.
Muarice Pialat's A nos amours blends the raw energy of John Cassavetes' films with the stripped of glamor intimacy and sense of humor from Bertrand Blier's early films. It is about love and one's ability to share love, but also a film about pain and learning how to cope with pain while growing up.
The film is brutally honest, to the point of occasionally being borderline offensive. Pialat follows closely Suzanne as she experiments with different boys and then returns to her family for the comfort and stability she needs. In the beginning it all works fine, but when her father eventually admits to her that he is planning to leave the family for another woman, things begin to unravel.
The family discussions feel like extracts from a low-budget reality show. A few in particular contain outbursts of violent behavior that immediately erase any melodramatic overtones that might have entered the film earlier. These sequences, where Suzanne, her mother and her brother argue, are some of the most powerful the entire film, but admittedly also some of the most difficult ones to endure.
Despite all the verbal and physical abuse, however, A nos amours remains a genuinely uplifting and optimistic film, one that celebrates life as is – unpredictable, disappointing, often unfair and miserable. Watching A nos amours one begins to realize that to love is to be able to continuously overcome disappointment and pain, to be willing and able to share one's feelings without fear of being misunderstood even when it seems like no one recognizes what one needs or desires.
Bonnaire is excellent as the young and often rather native Suzanne. There are quite a few sequences in the film that could have been very intimidating for a young and inexperienced actor, but she looks incredibly relaxed and confident in front of the camera. Indeed, her first major role in a feature film was a tremendous success. Ker also impresses as the depressed mother who at one point begins to blame Suzanne for her misery. The angry Besnehard looks genuinely scary. The late Cyril Collard also has a small cameo in the film.
A nos amours was lensed by cinematographer Jacques Loiseleux, who also collaborated with Pialat on Loulou (1980) and Van Gogh (1991).
Note: In 1984, A nos amours won Cesar Awards for Best Film and Most Promising Actress (Sandrine Bonnaire).
À nos amours Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Maurice Pialat's A nos amours arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French distributors Gaumont.
Similar to the other Pialat titles in the last batch of Gaumont releases, this Blu-ray release uses a high-definition transfer that has been struck from a new master. Excluding some light noise that occasionally makes its presence felt as well as some very small artifacts that appear during a few sequences where light is restricted, A nos amours unquestionably looks the best it ever has. A quick comparison with Criterion's R1 DVD release reveals dramatic improvements in detail as well as much better color reproduction. Clarity and depth are also improved. Close-ups in particular convey better depth and eliminate the sharpening from the DVD release. The best news, however, is that there are no traces of excessive degraining corrections. Unsurprisingly, from start to finish the film has a stable organic look. Also, there are no large cuts, debris, stains, or scratches to report in this review. To sum it all up, while there is still some room for small improvements Gaumont's Blu-ray release represents a solid upgrade in quality that should please fans of A nos amours. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. Fort the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
À nos amours Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0. For the record, Gaumont have provided optional English and French SDH subtitles for the main feature.
A nos amours does not have a prominent soundtrack. Dynamic intensity is also limited as the film was shot in a certain way to give it a type of rawness most documentary features have. There are some sporadic spikes in dynamic movement - mostly during the family arguments - but none of them will impress those who prefer the aggressive nature of the lossless tracks many releases of contemporary films have. The dialog is stable, clean, an easy to follow. The English translation is very good.
À nos amours Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
À nos amours Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I am very pleased with Gaumont's presentation of Maurice Pialat's A nos amours. Not only does the film look lovely on Blu-ray, but there are also a number of excellent new supplemental features included on this release (not subtitled in English). If you are interested in French Cinema, make sure to add Gaumont's last three releases (the other two Pialat films the label released on Blu-ray are Loulou and Van Gogh) to your collection. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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À nos amours Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Three Maurice Pialat Films Coming Up - October 19, 2012
French distributors Gaumont have revealed that they are preparing for Blu-ray release three films by acclaimed director Maurice Pialat: Loulou (1980), A nos amours a.k.a To Our Loves (1983), and Van Gogh (1991). All three films are set to be released on January ...
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