Not on DVD!
Sautet recruited three of the leading French stars of their generation—Yves Montand, Michel Piccoli and Serge Reggiani—for this wise, beautifully acted, enormously moving portrait of a trio of lifelong friends at the crossroads of middle age, based on a novel by Claude Néron (Max and the Junkmen). Vincent (Montand) is an industrialist with an estranged wife (Stéphane Audran) and a heavily mortgaged business on the verge of bankruptcy. François (Piccoli) is a doctor whose youthful ideals long ago gave way to financial motivations. And Paul (Reggiani) is an author with a serious case of writer’s block. All three men try to vicariously relive their youth through Vincent’s protégé (Gérard Depardieu), an aspiring professional boxer. With his signature understatement and precise powers of observation, Sautet weaves us through these men’s lives as myriad crises erupt, concessions are made, and time marches on. A massive hit in France and an obvious template for the likes of The Big Chill and Guillaume Canet’s Little White Lies, Vincent, François, Paul and the Others ranks among Sautet’s finest contemplations of the human condition.
“Sautet is a wizard at juggling and balancing the complex Dinner at Eight situation, and he's got the control and refinement of a master … it moves rhythmically, as if it were a melancholy, romantic tune.” —Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
“****. We walk out of Vincent, Francois, Paul and the Others and we think, yeah, that's pretty much the way things are. We don't know whether or not to smile. The movie takes a group of friends in their 40s and observes them for a period of weeks. At the end of that time, we find ourselves recognizing them: They're like friends of ours. They may even be like ourselves.” —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“An astute commentary on the spectrum of human emotion—a profound, yet deceptively lyrical portrait of failed dreams and loves, longing and regret, friendship and loneliness.” —Acquarello, <em>Strictly Film School