I’m off to a screening of The Devil Wears Prada shortly, but I endured some chilly, top-notch self-laceration late last night, in the form of director Maurice Pialat’s 1984 film A Nos Amours. The movie assays the cold, proxy comfort a young French girl looks for in the arms of numerous boyfriends. Craving the attention she’s denied at an unhappy home, Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire) flings herself into a destructive search for love and affection. Alternating fractured, dispassionate and clutchy encounters with long ruminative passages, the movie is at times slow going, but it succeeds in portraying in convincingly artistic strokes the manner in which serial adolescent alienation transmutes into destructive behavior.
As usual, Criterion does a bang-up job with its release of a new, restored high-definition digital transfer. Supplemental extras include the original theatrical trailer, a 2003 interview with Bonnaire and a 1999 documentary on the movie entitled The Human Eye. Interesting, too, are new video interviews with contemporary directors Catherine Breillat and Jean-Pierre Gorin on Pialat’s influence on French cinema. There’s also archival on-set interview material with Pialat and footage of some of the actors’ auditions. Rounding out matters are an insert booklet
including insightful essays by critics Molly Haskell and Kent Jones and
further textual interviews with Pialat and cinematographer Jacques Loiseleux. B (Movie) A- (Disc)