Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return)
Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (The Time of Return) (1963)

A middle aged widow tries to relive her past by inviting an old lover to visit her. The two have not seen each other in 20 years, and the man shows up with a young mistress. He tries to convince his host the young woman is only his niece.… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 9, 1963
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

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.

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Anton Bitel
Little White Lies

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.

Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

A truly frustrating tug-of-war between conventional narrative and fragmented presentation.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A subtle, precise, and wrenching film, shot largely without recourse to the stylistic flourishes that made Resnais' reputation.

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Louis Proyect

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.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An innovative, original film that is always fascinating and challenging.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The web of opened, ultimately unfollowed trails in 'Muriel' leads, not to the coherence of art, but to mere mirrors within mirrors.

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TV Guide

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.

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Flixster Audience Score: 79% Flixster User Reviews
Nicki Marie
If you want to spend 2 hours watching a movie that makes no sense and has no ending, go ahead...
Linda K. T.
Resnais' films are not easy to understand and to watch but this film has a different feel. As always, many ellipsis between shots, but at least the… More
Steve K
Oh God how I HATE HATE HATED this film in college. One of the most miserable film viewing experiences of my life. I suppose I should revisit it.
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]In "Muriel," Helene(Delphine Seyrig) lives in Boulogne with her grown son Bernard(Jean-Baptiste Thierree) where she sells antique… More