In light of his recent triumphs Wild Grass and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet — the latter of which I recently offered my own love for — it should be evident that I’d greatly await Alain Resnais‘ next picture, Life of Riley, entirely regardless of a reaction that (with some exceptions) has been relatively cold. I know I love the man’s work, and I can, even now, recognize this as adhering to certain characteristics that have resonated with me rather strongly in prior efforts — so what else needs to be said?
But its first trailer is nevertheless a sight for sore eyes, from the alternately luminescent and inky cinematography (shaped in conjunction with Dominique Bouilleret) to bric-a-brac exchanges (which still emanate a rhyme and rhythm without subtitles), all cohering through the helmer’s impeccable sense of camera distance, movement, and composition. I couldn’t say how one might otherwise sell a Resnais film, however; I’m not even keen to learn much, excepting what’s here and on Berlinale’s site: a clip, alongside a press conference with several of the film’s stars, scribe Jean-Marie Besset, and illustrator Christian Hincker. All in all, there’s a lot on display, and it should not be taken for granted — after all, I fear it’s the most we’ll see from Life of Riley for a little while. Someone with a wise eye and healthy bank account ought to do what they can to prove me wrong.
The trailer can be seen below:
Part of the press conference is available for viewing right here:
“In the English countryside, the life of three couples is disturbed by a character we shall constantly hear about but never see: the enigmatic George Riley. When general practitioner Dr. Colin inadvertently tells his wife Kathryn that his patient George Riley does not have more than a few months to live, he doesn’t know that Riley was Kathryn’s first love. Both spouses, who are rehearsing a play with their local amateur theatre company, convince George to join them. It allows George, among other things, to play strong love scenes with Tamara, who is married to Jack, his best friend, a rich businessman and unfaithful husband. A tearful Jack tries to persuade Monica, George’s wife who left him to be with Simeon the farmer, to go back to her husband in order to support him during his last months. George has a strange seductive power over Monica, Tamara and Kathryn, which highly upsets those men sharing their lives with the three women.
Which one will George Riley take on holidays in Tenerife with him?”
With a cast consisting of Hippolyte Girardot, André Dussollier, Sabine Azéma, Caroline Silhol, Michel Vuillermoz, as well as directorial newcomer Sandrine Kiberlain, Life of Riley is currently without U.S. distribution.
What do you think of this first look?