Premièred at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival mere weeks before its director's sudden death at 92 the final film by master filmmaker Alain Resnais (Hiroshima mon amour Last Year at Marienbad Muriel Mélo Providence) marks his third adaptation penned by Laurent Herbiet and Alex Reval of a work by the English playwright Alan Ayckbourn (following Smoking / No Smoking and Private Fears in Public Places). When the eponymous George Riley never seen on-screen discovers he's been diagnosed with a terminal illness a circle of friends (played by... such powerhouses as Sabine Azéma André Dussollier and Hippolyte Girardot) rally and spur him to take part in a play (another Ayckbourn work: Relatively Speaking) with the hope of enriching his final months. Soon after however George regains his life-force with full verve and reattracts the women in his group threatening their own domestic stability. With hyper-stylised sets nominally located in a fantastical Yorkshire; scene changes announced by cartoons by the French illustrator Blutch; and even an animatronic mole which critic Cristina Álvarez López describes in her accompanying essay as "not just a merciless metaphor of George winning over death and returning victoriously to life not only a sharp comment on the general patronising attitude toward those who are ill [but] also the best example of how fearlessly Resnais approaches the issues of life and death: as a matter of serious playfulness of charged lightness." It is that charged lightness ever-present throughout Resnais's body of work that makes Life of Riley (Aimer boire et chanter or To Love Drink and Sing) such a thrilling testament. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to release Alain Resnais's (unintentional) swan song in a Dual Format special edition. Bonus Features: 1080p presentation of the film on the Blu-ray New and exclusive video interview about the film with critic and scholar Geoffrey O'Brien Original theatrical trailer Interviews with the cast 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring a new essay by critic Cristina Álvarez López; a new note on his collaborations with Alain Resnais by playwright Alan Ayckbourn; and production imagery [show more]
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French comedy drama directed by Alain Resnais. Whilst preparing to put on a play in Yorkshire, three couples are devastated by the news that one of their close mutual friends, George Riley, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, giving him only six months to live. Rallying around their friend, Colin (Hippolyte Girardot), Kathryn (Sabine Azéma), Tamara (Caroline Sihol) and Jack (Michel Vuillermoz) offer George the starring role in their production. But George feels he must also say his own private and unique goodbyes to each lady of the group, including his estranged wife Monica (Sandrine Kiberlain), causing tensions to rise in the already strained relationships of the group.