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My Afternoons with Margueritte [Blu-ray]

465 customer reviews

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(Jun 19, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

In a small French town, Germain (Gerard Depardieu, Cyrano de Bergerac, Potiche), a nearly illiterate man in his 50s who is considered the village idiot, takes a walk to the park and happens to sit beside Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus, Sarah’s Key), a little old lady who is reading excerpts from her novel aloud. She’s articulate, highly intelligent and frail. Germain is lured by Margueritte’s passion for life and the magic of literature from which he has always felt excluded. As Margueritte broadens his mind via reading excerpts from her novel, Germain realizes that he is more of an intellectual than he has ever allowed himself to be. Afternoons spent reading aloud on their favorite bench transform their lives and start them both on a new journey to literacy and respect for Germain, and to the deepest friendship for Margueritte.


It's determined to look on the bright side. The film isn't about the actor's intelligence. It's about his emotional radiance. --Boston Globe

excellent…a pleasure to watch --The New York Times

a movie of heart, soul and love --The Huffington Post

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Depardieu, Gisele Casadesus
  • Directors: Jean Becker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cohen Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (465 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007I1Q4GS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,700 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on October 14, 2011
Format: DVD
Gerard Depardieu is back...and this time in a sensitive, enchanting film about the beauty of a friendship between a nearly illiterate man and an elderly woman with a deep affection for books. Sitting on a park bench watching the pigeons play and interact, the woman - elegant, wise, but going blind - senses the honest heart of the man beside her, the character played by Depardieu. She warms up to him and vice versa. They end up loving each other, but not in the conventional way. She reads books aloud to him and finds out that he is an especially good listener.

It's not just about the love of books, it's about the love of loves. In an age where too many movies celebrate violence and sex, this is a gentle change of pace. And let me add that Giselle Casadesus - who plays the lead character - is a sensation.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Edward L Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 28, 2012
Format: DVD
Based on a novel by Marie-Sabine Roger, MY AFTERNOONS WITH MARGUERITTE is pleasant, (mostly) family-friendly escapism that serves as a reminder to the young-at-heart who think they know it all. It's the uncharacteristic love story between Germain Chazes (played by Gerard Depardieu) and Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus), two neglected souls who share a park bench in a chance meeting where they talk about the pigeons. Immediately, the elder Margueritte takes a pleasant enough shine to Germain, who's viewed by the locals as a bit of a buffoon. Raised by a mother he believes never loved him, Germain lacked any real affection as a child. In flashbacks, we're shown that - throughout his school days - he was ostracized by students and teachers alike. He never quite `fit in' with any of his relationships, and, as a consequence, he strongly responds to Margueritte's courtesies. They continue to meet over the next several weeks, wherein the senior agrees to read to him from the books of her personal library.

In short, AFTERNOONS is an oddly effective `coming of age' story for both the principles. Margueritte - at her advanced age - lives what's left of her days in an assisted living community, where she's holed up with her books, rarely visited by her own family. By contrast, Germain sees the world plainly, engaging in such elementary tasks as naming each of the park's pigeons he feeds based on their observed behaviors. Margueritte becomes smitten by his honest (if not poetic) simplicity, and he slowly begins to realize he may be as "simple" as he's often dismissed himself. Like in any positive relationship, the two come to understand one another in unique ways that brings greater happiness to their lives, even though others scoff at the time they spend together.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 17, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
( This is a review of the Standard DVD version of this release.)

Remember - in the 1970s and 1980s - when French actor Gerard Depardieu was a French "matinee idol"? Okay he wasn't "small" in stature but you would never consider him large. Well time passes and the actor (with almost 275 films to his credit ) is older and much larger now. But he still has that innocent face, and, in his early 60s, is still making fine films.

This low-keyed film matches Depardieu with 97-year old French actress Gisele Casadesus as an unlikely pair who meet one day in a park (literally) counting the pigeons. Depardieus's character, Germain, is a hard worker (he cultivates fruits and vegetables to sell at outdoor markets) but was a slow learner in school and can hardly read. His newly found bench mate is articulate and an avid reader and - through reading aloud to Germain - she brings a whole new world to him. Director Jean Becker uses an interesting technique to show us how the words (such as those in Camus' "The Stranger") come to life in Germain's mind.

The 83 minutes of this film go by quickly as we are drawn into the story and the actors (both veterans) make us feel for their relationship, knowing that, at age 97, Margueritte has only so much time to read. The ending is sweet and will put a tear in your eye.

My only fault in this DVD (which has no supplemental material except the theatrical trailer) is that the subtitles are in white text and are often difficult to read when the background is also white or in pale colors. (Subtitles work best when they are in green or a contrasting color or shown below the image.)

I can certainly recommend this to Depardieu fans, those who like French films or avid readers who love the printed word.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Format: Blu-ray
So amiable, pleasant, and likable--the French confection "My Afternoons with Margueritte" is pretty hard to resist. The film is set in a provincial town where everyone knows everyone else's business and the citizenry is populated with an expected assortment of eccentric character types. At the heart of the film is Gerard Depardieu playing, essentially, the village idiot. As a functional illiterate with a penchant for saying the wrong thing, most of the town laughs along with his antics. People like him, but he is taken primarily as comic relief. His tumultuous relationship with his mother hints at something a little darker beneath the surface and we see glimpses, both past and present, of a less genial life story. But we never dwell on anything too serious in this breezy little film.

But what of Margueritte? She is an elderly woman from a local home that has a chance encounter with Depardieu in the park. They bond over pigeons, and soon their one-time meet morphs into a regular encounter. She shares her love of books with him as she reads aloud and encourages him to embrace that it's never too late too learn. As their bond deepens into a loving friendship, there are a few stumbling blocks. It's all rather predictable, but always very sweet as well. I suppose it would have been very easy for this to have turned into overly sentimental treacle, but the pace is brisk and the actors are engaging--so it's a story you want to root for even if it holds few surprises.

The fact that the movie works as well as it does is certainly a testament to the two leads. I especially thought the great Gisele Casadesus had a pleasing matter-of-factness as the aforementioned Margueritte. When she and Depardieu play off one another, it is a real delight.
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My Afternoons with Margueritte [Blu-ray]
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