Claude Sautet

Claude Sautet

Sautet has subsequently turned out a number of finely observed social studies, often documenting the relations between large numbers of characters. Scenes set on beaches came to be over the years practically a trademark of his work, which he approached with a quiet irony and maturity. For years he was best known in the US for "Cesar et Rosalie" (1972), which teamed Yves Montand and Schneider in Sautet's answer to Francois Truffaut's "Jules et Jim"; "Vincent, Francois, Paul and Others" (1976), a tale of a crisis in the friendship of three middle-aged men facing their many failures and disappointments; and "A Simple Story" (1979), nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Film, a portrait of a working woman and the people in her orbit.Sautet moved more firmly into melodrama with "Un Mauvais Fils/A Bad Son" (1980) and comedy with "Garcon! /Waiter!" (1983). His later "A Few Days with Me" (1989) proved to be a relatively uncharacteristic departure into more youthful territory, while youth and middle age crossed paths in the artful "Un Coeur en hiver" (1992). An intimate film about a love triangle that includes Emmanuelle Beart as a violin virtuoso, Daniel Auteuil as a violin maker, and Andre Dussollier as a violin dealer, "Un Coeur" was a typically quiet but remarkably rich character study which extended Sautet's formidable string of art-house critical triumphs. He enjoyed another success with 1995's "Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud," a chamber romance about a love triangle between an elderly writer, his female secretary with whom he falls in love, and his younger publisher who courts the woman.