Les Choses de la Vie

3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
A not uninteresting attempt to make a film about ordinary, everyday minutiae, with Piccoli as an average sensual man, vaguely torn between a demanding mistress (Schneider) and an ex-wife (Massari) to whom he still feels bound. Quietly and deftly, Sautet sketches in the portrait of a man gradually becoming aware that he is coming to a crossroads in his life. But since the opening sequence reveals that he is shortly to die in a car crash, his attempt to make some decision about his life is much ado about nothing - which is precisely the point of the film. Difficult to make a film about banality without being boring in the process, but Sautet all but pulls it off, thanks to a beautifully understated performance from Piccoli which manages to extract a whole lifetime of meaning from a simple gesture like lighting a cigarette, and to illuminate the film's meticulously detailed naturalistic surface.

Release details

89 mins

Cast and crew

Claude Sautet
Paul Guimard, Jean-Loup Dabadie, Claude Sautet
Michel Piccoli
Romy Schneider
Lea Massari
Gérard Lartigau
Jean Bouise
Henri Nassiet

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

a trail breaker when first seen, this movie viewed some forty years later has a slick quality to it--from the incessant cigarette smoking, to the "all things bourgeois" in personalities, mores, interiors and exteriors. Though it claims to be about ordinary people, the personalities act with an ease and superficiality of celebrities, about whom we care little in the end. Beautifully filmed with a superb performance by Piccoli, the movie charms and disappoints at the same time. I give it 3 stars.