A Simple Story (1979): Claude Sautet’s Melodrama, Starring Romy Schneider

Claude Sautet directed A Simple Story (Une histoire simple), a French drama nominated the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

For her role as Marie, Romy Schneider won the 1979 César Award (French Oscar) for Best Actress.

Marie, pregnant at the age of 39, has an abortion without telling her lover Serge, having decided to live without him.

Her mother disapproves and so does Gabrielle, one of her workmates. When made redundant, Gabrielle’s husband Jérôme takes an overdose but Marie and Gabrielle save his life. To save his job, Marie looks up her ex-husband Georges, who says he will find Jérôme a place.

When his lover is away, Marie sleeps with him. However, Jérôme’s confidence is gone and Georges has to let him go. When he admits this to Marie, she leaves him.

After Jérôme, in total despair, kills himself, Gabrielle moves in with Marie, who gets pregnant again, this time by Georges. Going to see him, she realizes there is no future with him and says nothing about her state.

However, this time, she tells her workmates that she is going to have and bring up her baby.

Romy Schneider as Marie
Bruno Cremer as Georges
Claude Brasseur as Serge
Roger Pigaut as Jérôme
Arlette Bonnard as Gabrielle
Francine Bergé as Francine
Sophie Daumier as Esther
Éva Darlan as Anna
Nadine Alari as La gynécologue

Oscar Context:

A Simple Story lost the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar to The Tin Drum from West Germany.