César and Rosalie (1972) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
15 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Independent struggles of Rosalie, authoritative acts of Cesar and mesmerizing talent of Claude Sautet
marcin_kukuczka3 June 2007
After the 25th anniversary of Romy Schneider's death, I decided to see this film once again after a number of years. CESAR E ROSALIE is Romy Schneider's third movie she made with her favorite director during her French career, the one who, unlike some others, knew her as a brilliant actress and as a gentle person, Claude Sautet. And what were my impressions after the latest view: I was enchanted. I liked this film and, strangely, in spite of the light content it offers, it's rather a profound film.

From the very beginning, there are three aspects that draw one's attention: unforgettable performances, very down to earth story and unique musical score. Let me analyze these three factors in more details:

Romy Schneider gives a profound performance of a woman torn between men and her personal freedom, her personal independence. She represents a simple woman with whom mostly female audience may identify. Her feelings are changeable but her life heads to be straightforward. She fails many times but isn't it something most of us experience? Romy does a terrific job in the role, reaches the ultimate ability to feel the role to the very core. She once again proves how great actress she was, how flexible, how dynamic, how talented! I also liked Yves Montand as Cesar, a furious, jealous, nervous, sometimes loving authoritative man. His fury ends with calmness, his jealousy with forgiveness, his enemies with friends. Mr Montand portrays his character in a dynamic way and truly becomes the second great star of the movie.

The entire content is really very simple, yet not too simple not to be sophisticated enough. It is a complicated story of life, sometimes even confusing one but truly well executed. All is there for a strict purpose: humor in the story is to amuse at the most right moment so that it cannot disturb the point (consider, for instance the moment Cesar shows Rosalie his new shoes); drama is to tell us how attached to every single life it is (consider emotional insights galore), forgiveness to remind us that the world cannot exist without pardoning. As for simple life story, mind you a lot of scenes shot in a car - isn't that a symbol of journey, a sort of "voyage" that life is...? The highly unpredictable ending makes a perfect sense only when you analyze the whole story integrally, as life built upon joys and sorrows, quarrels and reconciliations. So in this aspect of showing simple people, Claude Sautet does a great job in this film, really innovative and extremely involving.

The music surprised me, even enthralled me. These were such memorable unique tunes that so much fitted to the entire story, to every single scene. The music absolutely reveals the confusion we find in life as well as the explanation that enlightens all previous doubts. Every single piece fits to the scene, one particular scene and in another one, it wouldn't fit at all. That goes in pairs with a number of memorable words that are said by the characters. I was under the spell of Rosalie when she said to Cesar "everything or nothing." Consider also how Cesar explains the purpose of his arrival on the beach one summer day when the sun shone onto heads more intensely.

Nice film, original one, a work that did not only remind me once again how great Romy Schneider was but the movie which made me interested in Claude Sautet. Although I have not seen many of his films, I'll look for them now and only thanks to this charming movie, CESAR E ROSALIE. Hope it'll be the same with you when you decide to see it and I give you my heartfelt advice, do watch it. It's not a 100 minute waste of time.
19 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent French cinema
michelerealini13 October 2005
I was amazed from this film! Not only because I usually like Yves Montand and Romy Schneider, but because above all this is a film about human feelings and reactions.

Claude Sautet's works are not intellectual movies, but they have the quality of showing people in real life, with their strength and their weakness, we can find people who laugh and cry. They are films about life, there isn't necessarily an happy ending. (In Hollywood they're not able to talk to us about REAL persons.) Simple, isn't it? A director normally shows life, you may say. But in reality I don't think it's so easy. The risk is to talk about people with exaggerations and melodramatic elements. In movies like "César et Rosalie" we find common situations, people with whom we can identify and share feelings.

Here we have a woman who can't choose between two men... (Ingmar Bergman has another approach, in choosing psychological and darker aspects of people. It's another valid method.) I chose to comment this film because it's an example of intimate cinema, a way of telling stories which talk to hearts.
22 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Have always loved it ...
jblevy30 April 2002
I first saw this movie in 1974 while in college and was struck with how human the characters were. Even at my age, I felt for Yves Montand and his passion for this woman that he knew was so different and so out of his reach and for Romy Schneider, torn between her need for the security and peace that the Montand character offered and the excitement and youth offered by Sami Frey.

I chanced to see it again twenty-five years later and found it still mesmerizing and enchanting. Funny, warm, endearing and well worth watching!
25 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hail, Cesar
writers_reign14 December 2003
Yet another object lesson in how to do relationships. Why is it the French find it so effortless to explore the Human Condition As Entertainment. Why is it they can deal so facilely with pain and heartbreak and still make us smile. Okay, it helps if you have a great leading man, a beautiful leading lady, plus a great writer and a great director but that's still not quite enough and what you really need is something in the water. Jean-Loup Dabadie is still under-appreciated as the multi-talent he is. He thinks nothing of adapting Foreign plays into French (Bill Gibson's 'Two For The See-Saw' became 'Deux pour la balancoir' at Dabadie's hand and was a great hit at the Theatre Montparnasse three or four seasons ago) turning out screenplays like this one and even writing lyrics (he wrote 'Valentin' for Montand's son and in so doing gave Montand a late hit). Here he contributes a virtually perfect screenplay on our old friend the Eternal Triangle theme. This film is so perfect that you get the feeling that on the first day of shooting the Good Fairy turned up on the set and waved her Magic wand blessing the entire project. Love, Desire, Pain, Laughter, if you don't get enough of those at home pull up a chair, slip in the DVD/video and sup your fill. You won't regret a moment of it.
22 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Charmed despite high expectations
Eyal-628 August 2000
I saw "Cesar and Rosalie" at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. I had only seen Claude Sautet's later movies (which I loved), and was unsure what to expect. The cinema was packed full of people, and some of the older members of the audience were laughing out loud almost immediately at Yves Montand's antics. I was a bit more restrained. But it didn't take long for me to find myself laughing as well. And not only me; it seemed like everyone there was in good spirits, young and old alike. Yves Montand's acting was incredible, Romy Schneider is terribly desirable, and the film just floated along. Definitely worth seeing, both if you're a Claude Sautet fan or if you want a charming movie about the interesting relationship which develops between the movie's three protagonists.
16 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Flawed perfection
Chris Knipp18 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A quiet and flawed little early Seventies "classic" by Sautet about a love triangle. Why "quiet," despite the violence and threat of destruction emanating from Yves Montand's character (César), the very successful and impulsive scrap metal dealer? Because David, his cartoonist/illustrator rival (Sami Frey), is so calm, and because Rosalie (a too-perfect Romy Schneider) is so reserved. And "flawed" -- because the story and the characters ultimately go nowhere. Why "classic" (in quotation marks, however)? Because of the excellent casting, the sure touch, and the polished look. This should be seen in conjunction with Sautet's more complex 1974 "Vincent, François, Paul... et les autres," also featuring Yves Montand in the central male role.

As the film begins, César and Rosalie are living together. David reappears after a stay in America. It turns out David has always loved Rosalie, but he let her marry somebody else (an artist from whom she's for some time been divorced). When David reappears at a wedding, Rosalie quietly goes off and spends time with him. César meets David at a café and politely but very firmly tells him to back off. David ignores this, and César wrecks his studio. Rosalie takes David to César's offices, gives him the combination to the safe so he can steal a million francs in compensation for the studio damage -- and runs away to live with him and work in a café in another town. People are able to act with gross impulsivity in this movie -- and still remain pals with the victims of their acts. César tracks the pair down and plays his trump card: he's bought the big seaside house where Rosalie was so happy as a child. She now goes off to live there with HIM. But later César goes to David again, with a polite proposal. . .

In actual screen time, the male-to-male relationship is more fully represented -- and hence develops more -- than the rapports between Rosalie and either of the two men. It goes from confrontation, to truce, to friendship, to intense camaraderie. The 'ménage è trois' doesn't work for Rosalie, and she goes off by herself. As philosophical voice-overs (by Michel Piccoli) come and go, you expect something desperate and violent to happen. Perhaps César will off David; or both men will die violently at sea or on the road? But instead, in the complete absence of Rosalie, César and David remain bachelors and become each other's best friends and most constant companions. Maybe they should get married to each other? But the trouble is, they aren't gay, and this was before gay marriage anyway.

Frey is perfectly handsome and charming in the hirsute style of the Seventies; Schneider is perfectly elegant and beautiful in the cold style of Yves Saint Laurent; Montand is as great a combination of charming and macho and emotional and "cool" as anybody in the movies has ever been. You understand why the other two both love him. He's a little older, but thank God for that. He's tall and slim and he has all his hair and he's got that grin and that twinkle in the eyes, and when he brandishes a big cigar, it looks dashing and you forget that it stinks.

But there's a flaw in the piece, which is Rosalie. She has been tremendously admired by viewers and the director himself, who spoke of Romy Schneider as representing "all women" (though he was originally going to cast Deneuve). But Schneider really hasn't much to do other than be pleasant and look lovely and move around from scene to scene. (In view of the way her part is written, the icy Deneuve might have been more convincing -- and more haunting.) Rosalie expresses herself by running off; or by being absent when she's with César and can't get David out of her mind. David is appealing in an enigmatic kind of way. Like Rosalie, he bends cooperatively at times, but holds back a part of himself always. All the passion is César's. This is like "Jules et Jim" with a lovely mannequin where Jeanne Moreau's character was (unfortunately "all women" apparently is not a single, real, live woman). A positive addition, typical of Sautet's 'oeuvre,' is that the two men's professional work is a strong element in the story.

The writer-director team is to be congratulated on not opting for a violent resolution. But they have found no resolution, and their surprise finale is only a repetition. Despite the charisma of the three principals, a movie that repeats and goes nowhere, no matter how appealing, can't be called a masterpiece. César et Rosalie is an idea that is toyed with as a kitten toys with a ball of wool, and then abandoned, left in a harmless tangle. If these people weren't so attractive, they'd seem aimless and desperate.
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Gradually comes to seem quietly radical
philosopherjack29 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The title of Sautet's film is a bit of a tease - the fairer title might seem to be "Cesar and Rosalie and David," or even some other subgroup of the three. The chosen title prompts us to regard the relationship of Cesar and Rosalie as a normative benchmark and David as a threat, as such taking the viewpoint of Cesar - a self-made man overawed to have Rosalie as a partner, but not knowing how to express it except by aggressively filling every silence with his own voice and by relentlessly reciting how much money he spent on this and that (Yves Montand is just sensational in the role). David (Sami Frey) returns after five years in America, still pining for his old love, and through his youth and handsomeness and (as Cesar puts it) greater cool seeming to stand a chance of getting her back. Cesar rapidly succumbs to obsessiveness, and then to outright violence, but even as his actions threaten to push Rosalie away rather than secure her, his fraught interactions with David are actually becoming more meaningful to him, perhaps to both men. For a while, the film seems rather offputtingly dominated by Cesar and David, even to the point of underlying misogyny, but by the end Sautet has repositioned that impression to a degree that seems quietly radical (the movie stops short of any sexual implications between the two men, but then it's mostly discreet about sexuality throughout). In the end, Rosalie is nothing more than pure image, observed from a distance, captured in a final freeze frame, making the point that perhaps that's all she ever was, and that the apparent lack of attention to her inner life in the earlier stages wasn't an oversight, but a quiet rebuke of our expectations of women in cinema, and beyond it. The fact that Rosalie is embodied by Romy Schneider, in all her mesmerizing reticence, dares us to see beyond the image, while simultaneously acknowledging we may not think to.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cesar and Rosalie....and David!
Haynoosh6 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The calm of the life of Cesar and Rosalie is disturbed by the arrival of David an old love of Rosalie,evoking in Rosalie memories long forgotten or put aside maybe,and in Cesar a flow of uncontrollable jealousy.

But all these take a strange turn , as strange and unlimited love can be.One is capable to do all while in love even if it is to convince the old love of your loved one to come and live with them if that is going to make her happy.

An engaging film about the complexity of love and its relations with friendship.

If in the beginning of the film it is David who stands between the relationship of Cesar and Rosalie at the end it is Rosalie who might be a threat to the friendship developed between Cesar and David.

In the last scene of the film Rosalie who had left both of them feeling shattered between her past and present returns to Cesar's doorstep witnessing the friendly chat of Cesar and David.

This is Claude Sautet's film and the final move is also his,but if it was left to me I would have stopped the camera before David and Cesar had caught the glance of Rosalie behind the fences,and would not let her open the door,letting the spectator to decide and reflect about how complex are human relations.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Claude Sautet's most beautiful film with a distribution of high quality.
lionel.willoquet21 November 2001
Two opposite men of character quarrel the love of a woman, who doe not manage to choose among both. A harmless intrigue, transcent by Claude Sautet's stage setting, which brews humor and emotion, the dialogues chiselled by Jean-Loup Dabadie and a magnificent trio of actors.
9 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
it just misses the mark
MartinHafer13 November 2005
The acting in this movie is excellent--particularly Yves Montand as the middle aged scrap dealer. David is also well-played as are all the other supporting players. But the character of Rosalie was just confusing and flaky and this tended to pull the movie down from time to time. Her character just didn't make sense--acting impulsively and without clear motivation. It was like many of her moves were based on a whim and that made it hard to care about her or see what David or Cesar saw in her (other than her great looks). Yes I could see it would be tough to love two people at the same time but the ways she reacted just defied logic. It's really a shame, as a re-write of the script could have made this a MUCH better film.
10 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
2+1 makes a good combination, not the one you would expect
mcsawley5 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Fine piece of acting. Rosalie character is not very extraverted, but Romy Schneider delivers a good performance, subtle and convincing as a woman hesitating all the time. Montand is awesome, probably because Cesar may be very much like him in real life. Maybe Frey's character is the less convincing: not clear why he hesitates all the time to win her. OK, this is where the cinema and real life part. One reality: has anyone noticed how quickly women were sent in 1972 to serve ice, prepare coffee or cook?

The ending is predictable, somehow. However, did she know the two were living together? If she did, then she will hesitate forever between the two. If she did not, she chose one, and one only.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
CESAR AND ROSALIE plays up a liberal-minded homeostasis, which archly transcends our insularity concerning gender roles
lasttimeisaw13 January 2018
French filmmaker Claude Sautet's sixth feature, the title refers to an unmarried couple, César (Montand) is a successful scrap merchant and Rosalie (Schneider), a divorcée who maintains an amicable relation with her ex, Antoine (Orsini), a painter. But the unbidden return of David (Frey), Rosalie's first love, casts a shadow in the status quo, inaugurated by a foolhardy competition of speed.

Rosalie becomes oscillating between César and David, a quintessential dilemma of choosing between the one she loves the most and the one loves her the most, any inconspicuous outward sign can alter her inner decision in a trice, and through the portrayal of a magnificent Romy Schneider, viewers is well-disposed to forgive Rosalie's caprice, being a beautiful woman, her trumping card is her absolute freedom, refusing to be mired down in any insalubrious compromise, whether when she is fed up with César's vulgarity and petty maneuver or the time she finds herself marginalized in their ménage-à-trois tryout.

David and Rosalie are on the same frequency, they understand each other's feelings, and their rapport has a pure and consonant quality that everyone hanks after with his/her partner, but on the other hand, Rosalie and César's relation is more prosaic and realistic, because of the money factor, an amour-fou César is very much disposed to splurge on all his money just to please her, to buy a painting from Antoine, to recompense the damage he has wreaked on David's studio (incidentally, David is a graphic artist), to buy back Rosalie's family holiday house on the island of Noirmoutier, those costly gestures irrefutably soften Rosalie's resolution, hardly can any woman resist a man's testament of love like that, not to mention Yves Montand imparts eloquent panache into César's almost innocuous single-mindedness, and even evokes an air of sympathy in the long run in spite of his unbearable machismo

David is the more ambiguous type, he loves Rosalie but not necessarily wants her, Sami Frey's well-bouffant handsomeness makes him fittingly inscrutable but in fact, he is not dissimilar to Rosalie, has his own volition cannot be violated. To set the film apart from other crops dealing with the love-triangle quagmire, Sautet and his co-scriptwriters go out on a limb to envision a scenario where an equilibrium between the nouveau riche and the artist is miraculously established in the third act (which, ill-fatedly, received a rushed collection of montages in company with a voiceover from Michel Piccoli), contradicts any malignant foreknowledge in terms of its ultimate fallout. Exuberantly tarted up by its retro-flair and throbbing dynamism, plus a beneficent coda, CESAR AND ROSALIE bewitchingly contends against the volatile drama in its center but also plays up a liberal-minded homeostasis, which archly transcends our insularity concerning gender roles and delivers us from the usual deluge of hokum, that is a real blessing.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good, nice ending.
Jonathan-1821 October 1999
-Okay sounds bad. It's good, just not great. "Simple". Very calm, including the loud scenes. A bit predictable. Realistic, well played, smart- never blunt or underestimating the viewer. Romy Schneider is beautiful. Michel Piccoli sums up in the voice over.
2 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cesar and Rosalie
basirkomjo3 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Cesar and Rosalie is the 43-rd film of Romy Schneider and shows her of her matured and very serious theatrical side. Unfortunately, this film is a realistic film. Unfortunately, because the reality is not so great normal-wiser also and seldom gives it a successful happy end. Romy the Rosalie plays is together with Cesar, however she does not feel completely happily in her life situation and suddenly after five years her old dear David appears again, so she knows no more what for her the best is. First she goes to David and than she comes again to Cesar. Cesar himself threatens David but that causes the escape from Rosalie. She burns out with David and leaves Cesar alone. So Cesar tries to make a compromise. David can live with them in the same house! But that is not normal and so Rosalie escape both of them and goes away for one year. Now Cesar and David becomes good friends and live together. After one year Rosalie decides to come back. For me was that a strangely end because it leaves open a lot, but I think that was wanted.
1 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Romy dear Romy
Bardotsalvador6 July 2010
Excellent movie a great love story the wonderful and inmortal Romy Schneider in a love triangle between Yves Montand and the very handsome Sami Frey by the way sami frey become famous in the 1960s when he became the lover of brigitte bardot, i love this movie as well every movie Romy Schneider was, to me she was a very special actress very beautiful and talented, Romy Schneider at this time was at the peak of her fame she cant do no wrong and in this movie she did not, Sami Frey became famous in the early sixties when he was for a short time Brigitte Bardot boyfriend from then on he became a major french star and even today he still working but this movie is about dear Romy she is fantastic here don't miss IT Yves Montand was a major international singer and actor and the husband of Simone Signoret and in the early 70s he too was at the peak of his fame as you may know this movie was a big hit all over the world
0 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed