A Heart in Winter

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A Heart in Winter (Un coeur en hiver)
A Heart in Winter.jpg
Directed byClaude Sautet
Written byClaude Sautet
Jacques Fieschi
Produced byPhilippe Carcassonne
StarringEmmanuelle Béart
Daniel Auteuil
CinematographyYves Angelo
Edited byJacqueline Thiédot
Music byMaurice Ravel
Distributed byKoch-Lorber Films
Release dates
2 September 1992 (France)
June 4, 1993 (USA)
Running time
105 minutes
Box office$11.7 million[1]

A Heart in Winter (French: Un cœur en hiver) is a French film which was released in 1992. It stars Emmanuelle Béart, Daniel Auteuil and André Dussollier. It was chosen to compete at the 49th Venice International Film Festival,[2] where it won four awards, tying for the Silver Lion. It was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 1994 BAFTA awards.

The romantic drama was the second-to-last film made by French writer/director Claude Sautet. He worked with Béart again on his final feature, 1995's Nelly and Mr. Arnaud (original title Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud).


Highly regarded violin restorer Stéphane works and plays squash with his longtime business partner Maxime. After Maxime, who is married, begins a relationship with concert violinist Camille, Stéphane is called in to do some urgent repairs on Camille's violin. Camille begins to fall for Stéphane, and reveals the truth to Maxime. Stéphane's cool reaction causes confusion for Camille, and she lashes out at him for denying his feelings.[3]



The film features a number of performances of chamber music by Maurice Ravel, played by Jean-Jacques Kantorow (violin), Howard Shelley (piano) and Keith Harvey (cello). New Zealand musician Jeffrey Grice appears in the film in the role of the pianist.[4]

The film contains only excerpts of Ravel compositions, but the soundtrack album includes them in their entirety, performed by Jean-Jacques Kantorow (violin), Philippe Muller (cello) and Jacques Rouvier (piano). A fourth Ravel composition not excerpted in the film, Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Faure, is on the soundtrack album. The film helped further popularise Ravel's Piano Trio. The track listing:

  1. Trio Pour Piano, Violon Et Violoncelle
    • i. Premier Mouvement
    • ii. Pantoum
    • iii. Passacaille
    • iv. Final
  2. Sonata Pour Violon Et Violoncelle
    • i. Allegro
    • ii. Très Vif
    • iii. Vif, Avec Entrain
  3. Sonate Pour Violon Et Piano
    • i. Premier Mouvement
    • ii. Blues
    • iii. Perpetuum Mobile
  4. Berceuse Sur Le Nom De Gabriel Fauré

Production notes[edit]

Emmanuelle Béart practised violin for at least a year before the film began shooting, so that she could convincingly mime the performance sequences.

Béart and Auteuil were in a relationship, and married during the making of this film.

Claude Sautet based it on his memories of reading Mikhail Lermontov's "Princess Mary".


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 85% based on reviews from 13 critics.[5]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 out of 4, and wrote: "Un Coeur en Hiver, directed by Claude Sautet, has the intensity and delicacy of a great short story."[6]


  1. ^ "Un coeur en hiver (1992) - JPBox-Office".
  2. ^ "Venezia, Libertà Per Gli Autori". La Repubblica. July 31, 1992. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  3. ^ Independent Film Quarterly. Accessed 16 September 2015
  4. ^ "Jeffrey Grice-Composer". Composition Today. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  5. ^ "A Heart in Winter (Un coeur en hiver) (A Heart of Stone) (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 2, 1993). "Un Coeur En Hiver movie review (1993)". Chicago Sun-Times.

External links[edit]