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France, 1980
Directed by Alain Resnais
Starring Gérard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia, Roger Pierre
Screenplay by Jean Gruault
35mm print courtesy French Cultural Services. Approx 125 minutes. In French with English subtitles.

“An exhilarating fiction that takes the form of a series of dramatic essays about three highly motivated, extremely mixed-up persons. They are Rene Ragueneau (Gerard Depardieu), a successful textile company executive who is suddenly faced with the loss of his career; Jean Le Gall (Roger-Pierre), an ambitious politician with a desire for total power, both private and public, and Janine Garnier (Nicole Garcia), Jean's mistress and a would-be actress who makes a noble sacrifice only to find that, like most noble sacrifices, it's a self-defeating gesture.

MON ONCLE D’AMERIQUE is a chatty movie, rather like the kind of 19th-century novel in which the author is always chiming in to comment on what's happening and to make observations that instruct and amuse. In this case, the author is Dr. Laborit, the French medical doctor and behavioral scientist, whom we see being interviewed in his laboratory by Mr. Resnais. The doctor, one of the people responsible for the development of drugs to control the emotions, is the wise, literate, unflappable host, a sort of Gallic Alistair Cooke…  

Immensely good-humored and witty. Mr. Resnais and Jean Gruault, the screenwriter, neither patronize their characters nor make fun of them. They appreciate them and sympathize with their tangled lives even as we see Rene, Jean and Janine behaving with the predictability of laboratory mice.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times


“With MON ONCLE D'AMÉRIQUE…Resnais is truly resurgent as he reacquaints us with the richness of his paradoxes, the profundity of his playfulness.”
– Andrew Sarris

Film Forum