This film ranked #95 in Time Out's list of the 100 greatest French films. Click here to see the full list.
Director: Claude Sautet
An actor’s director, Claude Sautet crafts films with an extraordinary attention to human detail, privileging dialogue and character development over plot turns or technical experimentation. Although unostentatious, Sautet’s camera work is subtly masterful, producing some very memorable images (a dour-faced Yves Montand on the telephone, filmed through a pane that reflects his laughing friends). An ensemble film, as its title suggests, ‘Vincent, François, Paul et les Autres’ follows a group of friends (played by Michel Piccoli, Gérard Depardieu, Yves Montand and Serge Reggiani) who meet regularly to commiserate over their personal troubles. A portrait of group friendship that transcends its many story lines, ‘Vincent…’ is typical of the French auteur cinema that, although universally admired by critics, is not always appreciated by its viewing public (for whom ‘cinematic realism’ is often code for ‘boring-as-hell’). Rest assured, ‘real life’, strained through Sautet’s lens, is deeply watchable and amusing.