Year: 2003
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott Thomas, Pascale Bussieres, Ludivine Sagnier, Jean Yanne, Catherine Mouchet, Hanns Zischler, Emmanuelle Devos, Aladin Reibel, Jeremie Lippmann, Bettina Kee, Alain Libolt, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Amina Medjoubi, Dinara Drukarova, Vincent Ozanon, Jean-Claude Durand, Christophe Vienne, Sylvie Weber, Beatrice Audry, Pierre Wallon, Judith Riviere Kawa, Romain Eprendre, Pascal Magniez, Oleg Pouzankov, Wouter Zoon, Jean-Pierre Gerardin, Agathe Bonitzer, Nelly Auteuil, Alice de Lencquesaing
Director: Pascal Bonitzer
Countries: France / UK
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 95 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and moderate sex
UK Release Date: 29 August 2003
UK Distributor


Pascale Bontizer's third directorial feature, and follow up to RIEN SUR ROBERT, is a witty and highly entertaining, sophisticated tragi-comedy which confirms Bonitzer's reputation as one of the leading writers of screen dialogue. Crackling with smart lines, PETITES COUPURES playfully debunks intellectual snobbery, following the tragi-comic twists and turns of Bonitzer's likeable but confused and bemused character, Bruno (Daniel Auteuil), as he takes a Dante-esque journey through the 'dark forest' of a mid-life crisis where he meets his Beatrice.

Torn between his wife Gaëlle (Emmanuelle Devos), and his young girlfriend Nathalie (Ludivine Sagnier), Bruno seems to have lost his bearings. As a communist newspaper journalist, his political beliefs have also been battered by the wind of history. He responds to a call for help from his uncle, who is fighting a losing battle for re-election as the Communist mayor of a small town near Grenoble; but after losing his way in deep fog, Bruno carries an important message to the house of his uncle's friend where he meets the mysterious Beatrice (Kristin Scott Thomas).

Daniel Auteuil excels as Bruno, buffeted by the maelstrom of relationships as he is literally thrown between mysterious women and eccentric strangers. A character led by events and emotions, he has very little autonomy or willpower in his fate. By the end of the film Bruno is left dazed and physically marked by everyone he comes into contact with, but is arguably wiser for all his experiences. Auteuil's deadpan humour is perfectly matched by Kristin Scott Thomas's mysterious aura as the bewitching and aloof Beatrice. The neatly delivered clever banter between the two leads is laced with a certain pathos.