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The Well-Digger's Daughter 2012 UNRATED

(88) IMDb 7/10
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In this sun-drenched melodrama (a remake of the 1940s classic by Marcel Pagnol), acclaimed French actor Daniel Auteuil directs and stars as the eponymous well-digger Pascal, a widower who is torn between his sense of honor and his love for his eldest daughter, Patricia (the luminous Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), when she gets impregnated by a wealthy young pilot.

Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad
1 hour, 50 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Daniel Auteuil
Starring Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad
Supporting actors Sabine Azéma, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Emilie Cazenave, Marie-Anne Chazel, Coline Bosso, Chloé Malarde, Brune Coustellier, Ilona Porte, Jean-Louis Barcelona, Patrick Bosso, François-Eric Gendron, Michèle Granier, Gérard Montel, Salvatore Caltabiano, Zachary Auteuil
Studio Kino International
MPAA rating Unrated
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By zeus on December 29, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
"I don't like the corked wine", Pascal said. In the movie it is losely translated as "I don't like the fancy wine" which is not quite the same. This sentence summarizes this movie. The pure mentality of the French villager "à la campagne". He prefers his own wine, (they make and cork their own wine from their own vineyards). He doesn't want to buy somebody else's wine. He doesn't want to be like "les Parisiens". He has contempt for the Parisians. He doesn't want to be part of the city "elite". He wants to live peacefully in the countryside with his family, his rules, and his routine. "Vous savez les impôts moi, on en a marre..."

The movie is about Pascal (Daniel Auteil, a well-digger) father of six daughters living the hard life in the countryside in France, at the start of World War I. He always wanted a son, and he tried and tried, but he got six daughters. His wife died after the last daughter was born. He sent the oldest daughter Patricia (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) to live in Paris when she was young, but after his wife died he called her back to help him raise the other five daughters. She is well educated and he wants her to get married with his friend/assistant Felipe (Kad Merad), a nice simple man but much older than her. Of course she doesn't like him and is falling for Jacques (Nicolas Duvauchelle), a wealthy young pilot just in town for few days, whose parents are rich and own the big grocery store in town. She is impregnated by him just before he is called back into duty. What is going to happen next? Is he going to come back from the war? Is she going to tell her dad about the situation? Are they going to keep the baby? How the villagers and Jacques' parents going to react to these events? Those are some of the questions coming to mind.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Joel G. on October 23, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
My wife and I are pretty picky about the movies we watch; we don't often get to sit down for two hours and we want to be glad we spent the time as we did. We both enjoyed this film.

This particular story is beautifully wrought. The sunshine, the casting, the details... it's quite an immersion. There is nothing easy about this story. As a result, it feels more like real life. None of the characters is completely good or completely bad.

How many films have you watched where the circumstances are the plot and the characters are the figures around which the plot happens? The Well-Digger's daughter is the opposite: the development of the characters is the plot. Something about that arrangement will resonate with you. Yes, there are circumstances that drive outcomes, but you will find yourself more concerned with the relationships in front of you.

One of the things I particularly appreciated about this film is that it doesn't glorify poor decisions. It doesn't inject artificial romance into a situation where real romance wouldn't yet exist. As a result, you will identify closely with the situations because you've personally felt those conflicting emotions at some point in your own life.

Finally, you will get the most out of the story if you keep the context in mind. The time, the culture, and the society in which it happens all have bearing on the outcome. If these characters existed today in middle-class America, they might behave differently, but you will still be able to relate.

Be prepared to think about this one from time to time even days after you've watched it. Enjoy!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kundera on December 31, 2012
Format: DVD
A quarter century ago, Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring transported us to the sun-drenched world of Pagnol's Provence. Five year's later, My Father's Glory/My Mother's Castle brought us there again. What a delight it is to be able to return there two decades later with Auteuil's update of "The Well-Digger's Daughter." For me, it was just what the doctor ordered at the end of a year when Americans have been so exposed to so much violence--both on and off-screen. Even our Christmas releases are filled with blood and death these days. See this film if you enjoy stories with warmth, compassion and humanity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Shriver on May 29, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
When it comes to screen adaptations, if ever there was a fool-proof author it is Marcel Pagnol. First, there was the Fanny Trilogy(1931-36); then several versions of TOPAZE (all good, but my fave is the Barrymore); then, many iterations of JEAN DE FLORETTE, MANON DES SOURCES, MY FATHERS GLORY & MY MOTHER'S CASTLE until definitive versions appeared as Jean De Florette / Manon of the Spring (Double Feature), My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle. 2011 brought this gem, directed by Auteuil, who will follow it up with another (I suspect sublime) version of the Fanny Trilogy in 2013. Full of visuals and sound, there is something fundamentally cinematic about Pagnol's prose: given that Pagnol directed 18 film versions of his own writings, I think it is fair to use the words "reader" and "viewer" interchangeably. "His" films, including this one, put the viewer in an Ozu-like state of restfulness while simultaneously offering up the challenges of the moral nuances of the story. In fact, with the exception of Ozu, I can't think of another cinéaste who has put me so at rest only to unveil the combating emotions of joy and pain that accompany every aspect of life.

The transfer to Blu-Ray is impeccable. If you have ever visited the Provence region of France, you will find the "found lighting" of the exteriors very realistic--after all, this is where the Impressionists went to paint!
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