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A Sunday in the Country

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Sunday in the Country
FrenchUn dimanche à la campagne
Directed byBertrand Tavernier
Written by
Based onMonsieur Ladmiral va bientôt mourir
by Pierre Bost
Produced by
CinematographyBruno de Keyzer
Edited byArmand Psenny
  • Sara Films
  • Films A2
  • Little Bear
Distributed byAMLF
Release date
  • 11 April 1984 (1984-04-11)
Running time
90 minutes

A Sunday in the Country is a 1984 French drama film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Bertrand Tavernier, based on Pierre Bost's 1945 novel Monsieur Ladmiral va bientôt mourir. The film stars Louis Ducreux, Michel Aumont, Sabine Azéma, Geneviève Mnich, and Monique Chaumette. It explores family dynamics in a clan on the eve of World War I.

The film was theatrically released in France on 11 April 1984, and was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 37th Cannes Film Festival, where Tavernier was awarded Best Director. It received generally positive reviews from critics. The film won Best Actress for Azéma, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography from a total of eight nominations, including Best Film, at the 10th César Awards. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 42nd Golden Globe Awards and the 38th British Academy Film Awards.

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The story takes place during a Sunday in the late summer of 1912. Monsieur Ladmiral is a painter without any real genius and in the twilight of his life. Since the death of his wife, he lives alone with Mercedes, his servant. As every Sunday, he invites Gonzague, his son, a steady young man, who likes order and propriety, accompanied by his wife, Marie-Thérèse and their three children, Emile, Lucien and Mireille. That day, Irène, Gonzague's sister, a young non-conformist, liberated and energetic woman, upsets this peaceful ritual and calls into question her father's artistic choices.



Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 100% based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 8.4/10.[1] Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that "A Sunday in the Country is exquisite - purposefully and almost painfully so - from beginning to end" and stated it "is one of the director's very best films, acted as beautifully and thoughtfully as it is staged."[2] Paul Attanasio of The Washington Post described it as "a glistening, ornately constructed movie in which everything's of a piece" and said that "what's extraordinary about A Sunday in the Country is the way Tavernier, with a few strokes, limns nuanced, authentic characters."[3] Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times called the film "moving and masterly" and commented that "a felicity and intelligence infuse every particle of the film, its clothes, its art direction, editing, photography and music. The actors are superb."[4] Roger Ebert gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, feeling Tavernier's story was "graceful and delicate" and wrote that "A Sunday in the Country has a haunting, sweet, sad quality. It is about this family, and many families. It is told by Tavernier with great attention to detail, and the details add up to the way life is."[5]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
1984 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Bertrand Tavernier Won
National Board of Review Awards Best Supporting Actress Sabine Azéma Won
Best Foreign Language Film A Sunday in the Country Won
Top Five Foreign Language Films Won
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Foreign Film Won
1985 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Picture Runner-up
Best Director Bertrand Tavernier Runner-up
Best Screenplay Colo Tavernier
Bertrand Tavernier
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Director Bertrand Tavernier Won
Best Foreign Language Film A Sunday in the Country Won
London Film Critics' Circle Awards Foreign Language Film of the Year Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Director Bertrand Tavernier Runner-up
Best Foreign Language Film A Sunday in the Country Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
César Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Actor Louis Ducreux Nominated
Best Actress Sabine Azéma Won
Best Supporting Actor Michel Aumont Nominated
Best Director Bertrand Tavernier Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Colo Tavernier
Bertrand Tavernier
Best Cinematography Bruno de Keyzer Won
Best Editing Armand Psenny Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Foreign Language Film A Sunday in the Country Nominated
1986 Mainichi Film Awards Best Foreign Language Film Won


The sound track features excerpts from Gabriel Fauré chamber works: the third movement of the String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 121, second movement of the Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120, and first movement of the Piano Quintet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 115.[6]


  1. ^ "A Sunday in the Country". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (2 October 1984). "BERTRAND TAVERNIER'S 'SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY'". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  3. ^ Attanasio, Paul (26 December 1984). "Family Portrait". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  4. ^ Benson, Sheila (11 January 1985). "MOVIE REVIEW: RISK, LOVE ON 'A SUNDAY IN COUNTRY'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (11 May 2003). "A Sunday in the Country". Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  6. ^ Christopher Lawrence, Swooning: A Classical Music Guide to Life, Love, Lust and Other Follies. Retrieved 11 May 2016

External links

This page was last edited on 7 September 2023, at 15:01
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