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Private Fears In Public Places (Coeurs) (2006)

Coeurs (original title)
1:54 | Trailer
In Paris, six people all look for love, despite typically having their romantic aspirations dashed at every turn.


Alain Resnais
6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sabine Azéma ... Charlotte
Isabelle Carré ... Gaëlle
Laura Morante ... Nicole
Pierre Arditi ... Lionel
André Dussollier ... Thierry
Lambert Wilson ... Dan
Claude Rich ... Arthur (voice)
Françoise Gillard ... Speakerine TV
Anne Kessler Anne Kessler ... Présentatrice émission TV
Roger Mollien Roger Mollien ... Soldat poète émission TV
Florence Muller Florence Muller ... Critique d'art émission TV
Michel Vuillermoz Michel Vuillermoz ... Architecte émission TV


Seven lonely lives in Paris: a middle-aged estate agent who thinks a colleague is sending messages in video tapes she loans him; his co-worker whose Bible is close at hand in times of stress; her late-night charge, who's an angry, nasty bedridden old man; his son, a patient bartender; the bartender's best patron, an ex-soldier who's lost his moorings while his fiancée looks for a large flat for them; and, the estate agent's much younger sister, who answers ads in the personal and waits in cafés with a red flower pinned on her jacket. Will any connect? Can open hearts trump fears? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For six strangers in search of love, the City of Lights can be a very lonely place.


Drama | Romance


See all certifications »



France | Italy


French | English

Release Date:

22 November 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Private Fears in Public Places See more »


Box Office


EUR12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,391, 15 April 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


There is a Scarborough poster in Thierry's home. The English seaside resort of Scarborough is the home of the play's author, Sir Alan Ayckbourn. See more »


When Charlotte has the tomato soup thrown at her by Arthur, the front of her blouse and sweater have large reddish stains on them. When Lionel returns home and is talking to her, the stains have disappeared. See more »


Featured in Empreintes: Pierre Arditi, un acteur au présent (2012) See more »


Drum Tech
By G-nyus, Marabiss, Olasehinde Femi
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User Reviews

Formally dazzling film with some great characters
15 January 2009 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

There are several reasons why I chose "Coeurs" as the first Alain Resnais film I would see, chief among them that it seemed interesting and was one of his more acclaimed recent films (and I didn't want to start with films of his that were probably influenced very heavily by the 'Nouveau Roman' writers he worked with, including obviously Alain Robbe-Grillet on "Last Year at Marienbad" and Marguerite Duras on "Hiroshima mon amour"). Also, I find myself very interested in the works of artists who have lived longer than most of us will but are still working, as there is frequently a sort of experience and wisdom there which fascinates me. Also, it was pointed out to me by more than one person that a screenplay I had written with a friend (before either of us had seen or even heard of "Coeurs") was conceptually similar and, according to the one person who had read it, had some plot similarities too. Naturally I wanted to see it for myself.

Ultimately, aside from the format which is quite similar in its moving frequently between different groups of characters for relatively short scenes, there was only one striking similarity which I could detect: in both screenplays two characters go on a blind date using fake names. Other than that, my approach and thought process was almost entirely dissimilar to Resnais', and naturally, although I'd love to say otherwise, it is his which is more interesting. I call it Resnais' approach, but the film is based on an English play and translated/adapted by Jean-Michel Ribes, so due credit to them as well obviously. Still, I was impressed, after hearing from more than one person about Resnais being a generally unintellectual, commercial film-maker, with not only the film's formally dazzling structure, look, and editing, but with the impressive restraint shown at every step. There's no showboating here, and Resnais does absolutely nothing with the film that is not important somehow to the story and characters. His constant use of partitions, the emphasized staginess of the film (though not the acting), as well as the dissolves linking each scene to the next are all crucial to the thematic content of the film.

I initially met the film with some resistance. Some of the humor was too cute, and it felt like light fluff to me initially. However, much like numerous other films, "Coeurs" eventually came together, making the whole experience worthwhile. Ultimately the only things which truly bothered me were some intrusive clichés, all of which were linked directly to the character Charlotte, who really singlehandedly keeps the film from reaching true greatness. Any scenes with her feel like a waste compared to the dazzling scenes with the other characters. Well, to be fair, not every scene: the stuff with Lionel is quite strong (but certainly not the nonsense with his father, which isn't funny nor dramatically strong). When you have a mosaic-like structure of this sort, it's natural that some parts will be less interesting (and it's up to the individual which parts are less interesting), but my personal reaction to Charlotte and her relationship with Thierry was not even mild amusement, but a severe disinterest. The film is oddly distant, surely to emphasize the loneliness of these characters, but it's also wonderfully warm most of the time, and most of the characters are extremely well-drawn. Then you have a caricature who is never truly explored to significantly lessen the quality of the film. It's just plain disappointing.

A very interesting film, certainly a formally excellent one, but I was disappointed in the lesser sections of it. Still, it gets a strong recommendation from me, due to Resnais' direction, thanks to the truly superb acting, and, obviously, the parts of the film (which is the majority of it) which didn't get on my nerves. It's just frustrating that it falls just short of greatness. Also, I think I'm in love with Gaelle now, not the actress, the character.

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