Love stories get made dime a dozen in the world of cinema, but only one in a million manage to be as nuanced, delicate, layered, affecting, matured, intimate and profound as Claude Sautet’s incredible penultimate film, A Heart in Winter. It managed to be a passionate yet melancholic look into a realistic and beautifully etched love triangle without every crossing the line, so to speak, on either side. Stephane (Daniel Auteuil) is a genius at making and repairing violins, and Maxime (Andre Dussolier) is his senior partner of their exclusive shop targeted towards connoisseurs and artists. Though long time partners and friends, the two men couldn’t be more different – Maxime, who is warm, suave and gregarious, takes care of the business, while Stephane is enigmatic, distant and introverted, and spends all his days and nights ensconced by his craft. Their quiet sense of balance and status quo, however, get shattered when Maxime informs Stephane that he has decided to leave his wife and introduces him to his new fiancée – the ethereally beautiful and virtuoso violin player Camille (Emmanuelle Beart). Thus begins a fascinating and volatile ménage à trois as the fragile Camielle starts forging a complex and emotionally charged relationship with Stephane; with Maxime gradually becoming aware of the shifting dynamics, the lives of the three marvelously drawn individuals slowly but surely cross the point of no return, thus leading the film to an understated but memorable finale. Stellar performances abounded from the three lead actors. Leisurely pacing, somber visuals and excellent musical motifs perfectly accentuated this gut-wrenching drama on love, friendship and heartbreaks.
Director: Claude Sautet
Genre: Drama/Romantic Drama/Psychological Drama/Urban Drama