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Nelly And Monsieur Arnaud

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Nelly And Monsieur Arnaud

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In this complex and intelligent drama, director Claude Sautet (Un Coure En Hiver) traces the platonic romance of an aging ex-judge and businessman (Michel Serrault) and the young woman to whom he dictates his memoirs (Emmanuelle Béart, last seen in Mission: Impossible). One character describes Serrault's story of his early days in colonial Polynesia as "the paradox of a world that vanished only recently," and Nelly And Monsieur Arnaud does an excellent job examining the way in which the survivors of such worlds influence and interact with the members of succeeding ones. Sautet demonstrates a delicate touch, allowing Serrault to be both the symbol of a generation shortly passing from the earth and a melancholy man unwilling to surrender remaining pleasures. As a character whose ambivalent feelings toward the past and the present are never articulated, but made apparent by her excellent performance, Béart is equally memorable.