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César et Rosalie(1972)
Claude Sauter's (Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud, Un Coeur en Hiver) romantic comedy follows Rosalie (Romy Schneider), a divorcee who is happily involved with Cesar (Yves Montand), an older man. Their relationship takes a sudden turn when David (Sami Frey), Rosalies old flame shows up determined to win her back. After years of changing dynamics between the three, Rosalie is finally forced to question her feelings towards both men and make her ultimate decision.
For more about César et Rosalie and the César et Rosalie Blu-ray release, see César et Rosalie Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on November 14, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Yves Montand, Romy Schneider, Sami Frey
Director: Claude Sautet
» See full cast & crew
César et Rosalie Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, November 14, 2012
Winner of David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor, Claude Sautet's "César et Rosalie" (1972) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of StudioCanal. The only supplemental feature on the disc is Pierre-Henri Gibert's documentary "Serenade for Three". In French, with optional English and French SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Cesar (Yves Montand, The Wages of Fear) is madly in love with Rosalie (Romy Schneider, The Swimming Pool). He is slightly older, slightly less sophisticated and slightly less patient with other men who look at Rosalie the way he does. If the men are younger, like David (Sami Frey, Bande à part, La repentie), he even gets upset and immediately feels the need to question Rosalie and make sure that she still loves him.
Rosalie loves Cesar, but does not feel that it is necessary to remind him all the time that she does. She also likes when younger men, like David, look at her just like Cesar does. In fact, she likes David, and probably slightly more than she expected she would.
David is in love with Rosalie. But he understands that she is with Cesar and will probably remain with him even if he opened his heart to her. Women like Rosalie who have been suffered in previous relationships desire stable, older men who can give them the type of comfort they couldn't have before. They fall in love with men like Cesar.
Rosalie warms up to David and the two begin spending time together. She does not ignore Cesar; David just gets as much attention as he does. Convinced that eventually he is going to lose Rosalie, Cesar confronts David - first in his studio, then in front of his colleagues, and eventually before mutual friends. Unable to tolerate his jealous outbursts, Rosalie decides to leave Cesar and go to David, even though she still loves him.
This simple yet so beautiful French film directed by the great Claude Sautet maintains perfect balance between comedy and drama. It is believable but not painful to watch. On the contrary, it just keeps going, constantly overlapping the funny with the sad, making its points but also giving the viewer plenty of time to ponder them.
The three characters all have weaknesses that they are aware of. Cesar loves Rosalie so much that he can't stop thinking about her. He fears that he may lose her because she is younger, too beautiful and too perfect not to be desired by other men. The fear slowly destroys him from the inside out, forcing him to make mistakes that can only turn off Rosalie. His rapid mood swings are perfectly captured by Sautet - there is absolutely no melodrama, absolutely no kitsch.
Rosalie's weakness is that she has allowed herself to fall in love with two men. She can't have both, but she can't have only one of them either. And if she tries to keep both, she knows that they will hurt each other. Rosalie's quiet struggle to make a decision how to continue living while observing the men in her life is also incredibly convincing.
The cast is outstanding. Montand is at his very best here - exuberant, attractive, funny, imperfect. This is how an aging man who has realized that this is his last chance to love a younger woman would act - he will take much greater risks than the ones he has taken before and often behave like a boy.
Schneider looks stunningly beautiful and brittle. Each of the men she loves can give her something the other can't. Trying to pick one is impossible. Losing them both would be a disaster – or the beginning of a new and uncertain life, one possibly not worth living. Schneider is this confused woman.
Frey, an elegant, enormously handsome actor, is the wild card. His words are simple and he knows how to win a woman's heart - with patience and persistence. He is perfect as the type of man Montand's character should be.
A very young Isabelle Huppert has a small cameo as well.
Sautet wrote the script for Cesar and Rosalie with long-time collaborator Jean-Loup Dabadie (Yves Robert's We Will Meet in Paradise, Pardon Mon Affaire). The film's beautiful soundtrack is by the legendary Philippe Sarde (Roman Polanski's Tess, Andre Technie's Rendez-vous, Bertrand Blier's Buffet Froid).
César et Rosalie Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.67:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Claude Sautet's Cesar and Rosalie arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of StudioCanal.
The high-definition transfer appears to have been struck from an older master. From what I could tell, it is likely the same master StudioCanal used for the DVD release of the film that appeared in France awhile ago -- the color-scheme looks very similar. This being said, the film actually looks surprisingly good. Excluding some light noise corrections, detail and clarity are very pleasing. Close-ups (see screencapture #3) and the nighttime footage (see screencapture #15), in particular, look solid. The best news, however, is that there are no traces of sharpening corrections. Macroblocking also does not destabilize the image. The warm colors look solid but never boosted. Excluding a few minor artifacts, there are no serious compression issues either. Viewers projecting their films will also be pleased to know that from start to finish the film remains stable. However, some extremely tiny wear and discoloration around the edges is noticeable during a few sequences (see screencapture #19). All in all, despite the few minor issues addressed above, this is indeed a very pleasing presentation of Cesar and Rosalie. (This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Note: The disc's main menu can be set in French or English (for France and the United Kingdom). Naturally, the Blu-ray release of Cesar and Rosalie sold in France should be identical to this release.
César et Rosalie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. For the record, StudioCanal have provided optional English and French SDH subtitles for the main feature.
Dynamic range and depth are very good. In fact, there are a couple of sequences, such as the car race early into the film, where fluidity is surprisingly good. The dialog is crisp, stable, and easy to follow. There is no prominent background hiss. Also, there are no annoying pops, cracks, distortions, or audio dropouts to report in this review. The English translation is outstanding.
César et Rosalie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
César et Rosalie Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Claude Sautet's Cesar and Rosalie is a simple, very beautiful, intimate film about love. It is one of my favorite 70's films. I don't think that Sautet's work is particularly well known on this side of the Atlantic though, which is such a shame. Together with Bertrand Blier, Maurice Pialat, and Francis Girod, he certainly deserves a lot more respect and attention. StudioCanal's release of Cesar and Rosalie is not as impressive as their recent release of Jacques Becker's Casque d'Or, but it still represents a solid upgrade in quality over previous DVD releases of the film in different regions. It is definitely worth picking up. RECOMMENDED.
César et Rosalie Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Casque d'Or and Cesar & Rosalie Coming Up in November (Updated) - September 19, 2012
Studio Canal will bring to Blu-ray two classic French films: Jacques Becker's Casque d'Or (1952), starring Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani and Claude Dauphin, and Claude Sautet's Cesar and Rosalie (1972), starring Yves Montand, Romy Schneider and Sami Frey. Street ...
César et Rosalie Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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