A Simple Story

Claude Sautet (Mado) continues to explore the gray emotions of middle age. For his characters, ideals have crumbled and dreams have died, but life goes on—on a scale more provisionary but somehow more profound. Romy Schneider, an actress who has grown with age, places a divorced woman moving uneasily between a lover and her ex-husband. Sautet excels in group portraits: with her friends and acquaintances filled in around her, Schneider stands at the center of a full and complex existence, where every choice has a consequence and every emotion an echo. Conventional in style and subject, the film succeeds through scrupulous observation, breadth of vision, and discreet compassion. With Claude Brasseur, Arlette Bonnard, and Bruno Cremer (1978).

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