À Nos Amours

À Nos Amours ★★★★★

".. with Pialat, the movies.. they feel like they weren't made, like they just kinda landed with a thud from the sky... They feel unshaped, raw, and pure. It can sound kinda bullshitty to talk about them in that way because obviously they were written to a certain degree, and acted, and edited.. but maybe it's because the behavior on display is so different from what we see in ordinary films, and he was so interested in excavating and pushing the behavior to those places, whatever it was it makes those movies feel like it just materialized rather than got made."
- Damien Chazelle

In one of the key scenes towards the end, director Maurice Pialat, who is also playing a character in the film, abruptly walks into an ensemble dinner-table scene; none of the rest of the actors were aware of this, and the reactions on their faces are as real as it gets in cinema. None of the things that happen after his entry was scripted; but it's also not a preplanned improvisation either. They are all in character, and the actors are reacting to the situation in real time. The whole approach seems like a brainchild of what Bresson and Cassavetes were doing with the medium.

À Nos Amours is a coming-of-age film like no other, even if you disregard the filmmaking aspects. It also marks the revelatory acting debut of Sandrine Bonnaire. The film's psychology comes from a very primal understanding of sensuality and love, and its undeniable roots in familial relationships during formative years; no wonder parents in most cultures pretend that sex doesn't exist.

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