Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return)
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Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return)
Alain Resnais's third feature film, like his earlier Hiroshima Mon Amour and Last Year at Marienbad, is devoted to the vagaries of memory. The title character is seen only in the 8-millimeter films run over and over again by Bernard (Jean-Baptiste Thierée). A veteran of the French/Algerian war, Bernard was obliged to participate in the torture murder of Muriel, an Algerian girl accused of sabotage. He is no more successful at recapturing or altering his past than is his stepmother Helene (Delphine Seyrig), who attempts to rekindle a romance with Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Kerien). Practically… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Under Resnais's direction, the clunky reconstruction of the devastated French town is as central to the action as the characters are, creating a blank and bleak setting for their oblivious chitchat."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Set in a town marked by extensive postwar reconstruction and in an apartment filled with restored antiques, Resnais' film traces the continuum between past and present, and the persistence of history in a world of change."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"A truly frustrating tug-of-war between conventional narrative and fragmented presentation."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"Resnais' true filmmaking style had finally begun to emerge, employing characters who are real people (not named after cities or designated by letters) with memories that cut deeply into their personalities and relationships."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A subtle, precise, and wrenching film, shot largely without recourse to the stylistic flourishes that made Resnais' reputation."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Alain Resnais deals with the impact of the war in Algeria on a French veteran. Although the surrealist touches seem dated, the issues of war and torture are not--especially in light of the current war in Iraq."
‑ Louis Proyect,
"An innovative, original film that is always fascinating and challenging."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It's startling and it's not always easy to follow, but it's also amazing. It's unlike anything else and it's brilliant. I desperately need to see it again."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The web of opened, ultimately unfollowed trails in 'Muriel' leads, not to the coherence of art, but to mere mirrors within mirrors."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"What's initially off-putting is not the usual art-movie austerity but Resnais' intellectual playfulness and mystifying surrealist bent."
‑ Jason Anderson, eye WEEKLY
More reviews for Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return) on Rotten Tomatoes