6.3/10
759
9 user 16 critic

Life Is a Bed of Roses (1983)

La vie est un roman (original title)
Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by ... See full summary »

Director:

Alain Resnais

Writer:

Jean Gruault
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vittorio Gassman ... Walter Guarini
Ruggero Raimondi ... Comte Michel Forbek / Count Michel Forbek
Geraldine Chaplin ... Nora Winkle
Fanny Ardant ... Livia Cerasquier
Pierre Arditi ... Robert Dufresne
Sabine Azéma ... Élisabeth Rousseau
Robert Manuel Robert Manuel ... Georges Leroux
Martine Kelly Martine Kelly ... Claudine Obertin
Samson Fainsilber ... Zoltán Forbek
Véronique Silver Véronique Silver ... Nathalie Holberg
André Dussollier ... Raoul Vandamme
Guillaume Boisseau Guillaume Boisseau ... Frédéric
Sabine Thomas Sabine Thomas ... Marie
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ... School Teacher
Rodolphe Schacher Rodolphe Schacher ... Pierre
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Storyline

Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by brainwashing his friends, including his former fiancee, Livia, and her husband. In the present day, the castle is being used as an alternative school and, in the summer holidays, for an educational conference. At the conference, the American Nora Winkle bets Claudine that the ernest public school teacher Elisabeth Rousseau will be enticed into the bed of Robert Dufresne, even though the principal speaker, Walter Guarini, is obviously interested in Elisabeth. Meanwhile, the children staying at the castle over the holidays invent their own medieval tale about freeing prisoners from the dungeons. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 April 1983 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Is a Bed of Roses See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While old fashioned Kodak film was used for the 1910s scenes and legendary period, modern Fuji film was shot for the 1982 storyline, opposing dreamlike effects of the former to realism of the latter. See more »

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User Reviews

 
probably the nadir of Resnais's career
21 December 2003 | by battistiSee all my reviews

Watching the first few moments, you realize it's going to be a parody - and certainly it *is* a parody, but I'm not sure of what (a fairy tale? an opera? a Hollywoodian C-movie? - if there was something like that), and I can assure you it's not worth watching. It's simply a pointless film (cf. a good parody is everything but pointless), with pretentious, shallow speeches of extremely sketchy characters. It's like a commedia dell'arte. Or better, it's like a botched commedia dell'arte. And the score... sung in an intentionally incompetent way (something Greenaway will use much more efficiently), it *is* painful to listen to (unless one wears some sate-of-the-art earplugs, haha). Go for quality movies (e.g. A. Mitta's How Czar Peter the Great Married Off His Moor, 1976) and steer clear of this mistake.


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