Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud

Cagily wearing its heart beneath its sophisticated French sleeve, this May-December almost-romance is gabby but engrossing. Nelly (Béart) is a young Paris divorcée who meets the older, aloof Arnaud (Serrault). He hires her to assist with his memoirs, and through their work Nelly learns of her emotionally distant employer’s past. Though director Claude Sautet (Un Coeur en Hiver) comes close to overintellectualizing the passion, Serrault personalizes the poetry of missed opportunity, while Béart is a beautiful muse. On the small screen, a pensive character study like this recalls overheard café talk. But in its quietest moments, what isn’t said speaks volumes. B+

Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud
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