Private Fears in Public Places

French Title: Coeurs
Genre: Fiction / Drama
Director: Alain Resnais
Cast: Sabine Azéma, Isabelle Carré, Laura Morante, Pierre Arditi, André Dussollier, Lambert Wilson, Claude Rich, Bruno Podalydès…
Run Time: 2 h 5 min
Countries: France, Italy
Release: 04/2007 in the USA

Presented at Focus on French Cinema in 2008

Awards: Silver Lion for Best Director, Mostra internationale de cinéma de Venise (Italie, 2006); Prix Méliès 2006


Six Parisians engage in a lonely and mostly unsuccessful search for real love: Nicole (Sabine Azéma) and Dan (Pierre Arditi) are engaged to be married, but his drinking drives them apart; Thierry (Isabelle Carré) flirts with a religious co-worker (André Dussollier) who has a secret vice; Gaelle (Lambert Wilson) answers numerous personal ads, but her dates never show up.

Things happen in Alain Resnais’s “Private Fears in Public Places,” much as they do in life. There is a breakup, a brief encounter, an awkward rejection. There are hot tears and heavy sighs. But because this is an Alain Resnais film, things happen with elegant camera moves and syncopated editing, and they happen to characters in near-geometric alignment: six heavenly bodies as seen through a mighty telescope. NYT, April 2007