Claude Sautet: The Things of Life

Garçon!

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Garçon!
Claude Sautet, 1983
France | French with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | 102 minutes

Not on DVD! 

Given the number of scenes in his movies that take place in cafés, bars and restaurants, it was probably only a matter of time before Sautet got around to setting an entire film in and around a dining establishment. In the last of his three collaborations with the director, Yves Montand stars as Alex, a former tap dancer turned head waiter of a popular Paris bistro—a simple man who dreams of someday opening a small amusement park by the sea. When his hands aren’t full of hot plates, Alex is no less busy juggling the various women in his life, including a young dancer (Dominique Laffin) who’s just left him for another man, and an older married woman (Rosy Varte) he sees on the sly. Then one day the beautiful English teacher Claire (the lovely Nicole Garcia) blows into his life and, for the first time in a long time, Alex may actually be in love. A critical and commercial disappointment upon its release in France, Garçon! holds up as a modest but highly enjoyable comedy of love when you least expect it and coming of age at middle age, beautifully filmed by Sautet (whose camera nimbly tracks and pans around the crowded restaurant, capturing all of the frenetic action) and with terrific support from Jacques Villeret and Bernard Fresson as fellow members of the wait and kitchen staff.

Series: Claude Sautet: The Things of Life

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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