Oscar Movies: Mon Oncle D’Amerique (1980): Fable from Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais’s Mon Oncle D’Amerique is not a satire or spoof, as the title may suggest. The title My American Uncle is a slang phrase in French for good luck that one hopes for.

The film unfolds as a “case history,” replete with the serious commentary of a narrator, played by real-life behavioral scientist Henri Laborit.

Gerald Depardieu, at the peak of his career, plays a plant manager whose behavior is inspired by the films of French film star Jean Gabin. Nicole Garcia portrays an actress who has patterned her conduct after stage and film luminary Jean Marais. Roger-Pierre is a TV executive whose main influence in life is legendary actress Danielle Darrieux.

The film was a huge hit with moviegoers and critics and was honored with six Cesar Awards (the French Oscars).


Oscar Nominations: 1

Screenplay (Original): Jean Gruault

Oscar Context:

The Oscar winner was Bo Goldman for Melvin and Howard.


Running time: 123 minutes

DVD: November 28, 2000

Criterion Collection