Life of Riley

Life of Riley

Alain Resnais (2014)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Following 1993's Smoking/No Smoking and 2006's Private Fears in Public Places, nonagenarian Alain Resnais returned to Alan Ayckbourn for what turned out to be his final feature. As before, Resnais delights in exploring the theatricality of human behaviour and conspires with comic-book artist Blutch and production designer Jacques Saulnier to create a splendidly arch backdrop to a comedy of bourgeois sexual manners set in the Yorkshire countryside. At its centre is an amateur production of Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking, but all attention switches to the fate of dying (and entirely unseen) leading man Riley, as Sabine Azéma, Caroline Silhol and Sandrine Kiberlain compete to accompany him on a last holiday to Tenerife, regardless of the effect this will have on their respective partners: doctor Hippolyte Girardot, businessman Michel Vuillermoz and gentleman farmer Andre Dussollier. Making the most of every entrance and exit, the ensemble excels, while the script neatly merges dialogue from the play-within-the-film with ordinary conversation. But it's Resnais's genius for making complex formal experimentation seem mischievously accessible that makes this so enjoyable. He will be much missed, but leaves a matchless legacy.

Cast & Crew

Kathryn Sabine Azéma
Colin Hippolyte Girardot
Tamara Caroline Sihol
Jack Michel Vuillermoz
Monica Sandrine Kiberlain
Simeon André Dussollier
Tilly Alba Gaïa Bellugi
Director Alain Resnais
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Other Information

Language: French+subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Eureka EntertainmentGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 6 Mar 2015