Les Choses de la vie est un film français réalisé par Claude Sautet et sorti en 1970. Il s'agit d'une adaptation du roman du même nom Les Choses de la vie de Paul Guimard datant de 1967.
Pierre (Michel Piccoli), architecte d'une quarantaine d'années, est victime d'un accident de la route, au volant d'une Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint. Éjecté du véhicule qui prend feu, mortellement blessé et dans le coma, au bord de la route, il se remémore son passé récent, notamment les deux femmes qui comptent dans sa vie : son épouse Catherine (Lea Massari) dont il est séparé et avec qui il a eu un fils (Bertrand), et Hélène (Romy Schneider), avec qui sa relation amoureuse est à un tournant.
Il revoit sa vie en accéléré et réalise alors l'importance de ces multiples petites choses de l'existence, « les choses de la vie », ces joies et ces peines qui constituent le bonheur de toute une vie. L'état de Pierre constitue la trame du film : sans aucune conscience de la mort qu'il est en train de rencontrer, et naïvement obsédé par sa « fatigue », son monologue intérieur tourne sans cesse autour de la nécessité de ne surtout pas laisser traîner une lettre qui donnerait un sens tout autre à son rapport aux autres. Cette lettre ne parvient finalement pas à sa destinataire : elle est déchirée, ce qui accomplit le vœu ultime de Pierre.
The Things of Life (French: Les Choses de la vie) is a 1970 French drama film directed by Claude Sautet. Based on the novel Les Choses de la vie (English title Intersection) by Paul Guimard, the film circles around a car accident experienced by the main character, and the events before and after it. The film won the Louis Delluc Prize, and had 2,959,682 admissions in France, making it the eighth highest earning film of the year.
The idea of making a film from the Paul Guimard's novel was originally turned down by multiple financiers in France. It was the fourth feature directed by Claude Sautet, and his first to become a major success.
Sautet would work with actress Romy Schneider again on 4 further projects, including Sautet's next feature Max and the Junkmen. Sautet also hired young composer Philippe Sarde to write the score. That initiated a long partnership between the two, spanning twenty-five years and eleven films.
The Things of Life was remade by American director Mark Rydell in 1994 as Intersection with Richard Gere, Lolita Davidovich (as the girlfriend) and Sharon Stone (as the ex-partner). The remake was poorly received.
In the French countryside on a summer morning, a lorry full of pigs stalls at a crossroads. An Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint swerves to avoid it and crashes into an orchard, hurling the driver (Michel Piccoli) onto the grass. As he drifts in and out of consciousness, he revisits the essential things which make up his life.
A Paris architect in his forties driving to a meeting at Rennes, he had quarrelled with his lover Hélène (Romy Schneider) the previous night. They were due to leave together for a job he was offered in Tunis but he hadn't signed the documents. But he had agreed to take his teenage son Bertrand, who lived with his estranged wife Catherine, for a holiday in the family's holiday home on the Île de Ré. Stopping at a café, he wrote to Hélène calling everything off, but did not post the letter. Driving past a wedding, he decides that the letter was quite wrong and he should marry Hélène.
Rushed to hospital in Le Mans, he does not recover. As his widow, Catherine is given his effects, including the unsent letter to Hélène. Catherine is reading it when she sees Hélène arriving. She tears it to pieces, and Hélène is told by a nurse that she is too late.