Smoking/No Smoking

Smoking/No Smoking is a 1993 French comedy film. It was directed by Alain Resnais and written by Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, from the play Intimate Exchanges by Alan Ayckbourn. The film starred Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azéma.

Smoking/No Smoking
Directed byAlain Resnais
Produced byBruno Pésery
Michel Seydoux
Written byAgnès Jaoui
Jean-Pierre Bacri
StarringPierre Arditi
Sabine Azéma
Narrated byPeter Hudson
Music byJohn Pattison
CinematographyRenato Berta
Edited byAlbert Jurgenson
Distributed byPyramide Distribution
Release date
  • 15 December 1993 (1993-12-15)
Running time
298 minutes

It won the César Award for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Writing.


"Smoking" and "No Smoking" are two segments of the film which are based on closely connected plays. The original plays covered eight separate stories, which have been pared down to three each for these movies. At a certain point in the story of each segment, the five female characters (all played by Sabine Azema) and the four male characters (all played by Pierre Arditi) have their lives skillfully recapped in terms of "what might have happened" if they had made or failed to make certain choices. For example, "No Smoking" focuses chiefly on the relationship between the mild-mannered Miles Coombes and his infinitely more aggressive and ambitious wife, Rowena.

The movie is set in the village of Hutton Buscel.

The narrator is voiced by Peter Hudson.


  • Sabine Azéma as Celia Teasdale / Sylvie Bell / Irene Pridworthy / Rowena Coombes / Josephine Hamilton
  • Pierre Arditi as Toby Teasdale / Miles Coombes / Lionel Hepplewick / Joe Hepplewick

Awards and nominations


  1. "Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2011-12-29.
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