The grim post-World War I era in Europe is grist for director Bertrand Tavernier's mill in Life and Nothing But. Philipe Noiret portrays a French major who is supervising the gruesome task of counting and identifying the corpses still strewn over the battlefield. Noiret is obsessed with the notion that, by doing his job above and beyond the call of duty, he can somehow make up for the carnage in which he participated a few years earlier. The major's mission is intercut with short vignettes involving the families and loved ones of the dead, and with the efforts by another officer to find a suitable candidate for an Unknown Soldier testimonial. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Director Tavernier has a gift for recreating another time. Post WW 1 France comes alive in wonderful detail. The performances are solid,(especially Noriet) and the story is a unique angle on this era. Yet I did not find the whole affair as involving as I'd hoped. For a superior vision of this time in history, rent Tavernier's "Capitaine Conan" ,which includes some superbly staged wartime action, as well as memorable performances.