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Nelly and Mr. Arnaud

Nelly and Mr. Arnaud
Nelly and Mr. Arnaud.jpg
Film poster
Directed byClaude Sautet
Produced byAntoine Gannagé
Alain Sarde
Written byJacques Fieschi
Claude Sautet
Yves Ulmann
StarringEmmanuelle Béart
Michel Serrault
Jean-Hugues Anglade
Music byPhilippe Sarde
CinematographyJean-François Robin
Edited byJacqueline Thiédot
Distributed byBac Films (France)
Release date
  • 18 October 1995 (1995-10-18) (France)
Running time
106 minutes
Budget$9 million
Box office$19.5 million[1]

Nelly and Mr. Arnaud (French: Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud) is a 1995 French film directed by Claude Sautet and starring Michel Serrault, Emmanuelle Béart and Jean-Hugues Anglade. It won the César Award for Best Director and Best Actor from Michel Serrault.


Nelly (Béart) is married to Jerôme (Berling), a man who has stopped working or searching for work. Nelly has some part-time jobs, at a printing shop and a bakery, but she has fallen six months behind on the rent for the apartment in which she lives with her husband.

Talking with her friend Jacqueline (Nadeau) at a coffee shop, she meets Pierre Arnaud, a wealthy, retired businessman who once was a lover of Jacqueline. After determining Nelly is encumbered with debt, Arnaud spontaneously decides to offer Nelly 30,000 francs as a gift. Nelly reluctantly accepts, pays off her overdue rent and suddenly decides to leave her husband and move out of their apartment.

Nelly agrees to type up Arnaud's memoirs, but Arnaud insists this will not be to repay the money he already gave her, he will pay her for this work. Nelly starts to work at Arnaud's apartment almost every day and slowly learns about Arnaud's life: he was a judge in a French colony, and later a businessman, he is separated from his wife and estranged from his two children. Nelly has an affair with Vincent (Anglade) who is Arnaud's editor. Arnaud feels a little jealous although it is never made clear whether Arnaud likes Nelly, who is much younger than him, or desires her sexually. Vincent rents a new apartment without telling Nelly and then asks her to move in with him. She refuses and breaks up with him telling him she doesn't want a long term relationship. She continues working for Arnaud until Arnaud's wife Lucie (Brion) returns from Geneva for a few days after her companion dies suddenly. Nelly comes to work one morning and finds Arnaud and Lucie with their bags packed about to leave. Arnaud tells Nelly that he and his wife have decided to take a round the world trip that they had dreamed of when they were younger and that they will be away for months. The film ends with Arnaud at the airline counter at the airport looking wistful and uncertain, and with Nelly bringing Arnaud's manuscript to Vincent's office where she is sure to see her former lover.


Awards and nominations

  • BAFTA Awards (UK)
    • Nominated: Best Film not in the English Language
  • César Awards (France)
    • Won: Best Actor – Leading Role (Michel Serrault)
    • Won: Best Director (Claude Sautet)
    • Nominated: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Jean-Hugues Anglade)
    • Nominated: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Michael Lonsdale)
    • Nominated: Best Actress – Leading Role (Emmanuelle Béart)
    • Nominated: Best Actress – Supporting Role (Claire Nadeau)
    • Nominated: Best Editing (Jacqueline Thiédot)
    • Nominated: Best Film
    • Nominated: Best Music (Philippe Sarde
    • Nominated: Best Sound (Pierre Lenoir and Jean-Paul Loublier)
    • Nominated: Best Writing (Jacques Fieschi and Claude Sautet)
  • David di Donatello Awards (Italy)
    • Won: Best Foreign Film
  • Valladolid Film Festival
  • Won: Louis Delluc Prize


External links