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Customer Review

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moi je n'aime pas le vin bouché!, December 29, 2012
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This review is from: The Well-Digger's Daughter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"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. You will definitely get surprised by the answers and the plot of the movie. It is not what you expect. Hence, Marcel Pagnol's genius...He understands the human mind better than anybody else!

This is another great adaptation of the work of Marcel Pagnol by Daniel Auteil, but this time he is also the director. Twenty five years later Daniel Auteil went back to the source that made him famous. Who forgot Ugolin playing alongside Yves Montand (César) in "Jean de Florette/Manon de source"? Daniel Auteil has the exact same accent, the same movements and same interaction with the camera, just few extra pounds. After I watched this movie I had to watch "Manon de source" again!

This is a fabulous film and Daniel Auteuil takes over with his very poignant acting. He delivers some of the most powerful performance I have ever seen by an actor in several scenes. If you really liked "Jean de Florette/Manon de source" you will definitely appreciate this movie. Is not as intense as the other two movies, has a different plot, but really describes the mentality of the villagers in the countryside in France that is slowly disappearing these days because the people are disappearing. If you want to see and feel the French countryside mentality during the 1900's, then watch the movie!

Five stars all around for everything but mostly for the powerful performances of all actors which are remarkable.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 31, 2012 2:53:39 PM PST
Excellent review. I also liked Pagnols use of mislaid letters to bring the plots to fruition

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 3:16:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2012 7:11:48 PM PST
zeus says:
Thanks. I saw "Jean de Florette/Manon de source" in Paris the day they came out as a double feature about 25 years ago. What a treat!! I still have Yves Montand's voice as Cesar in my head. When I saw that this movie is coming out I immediately ordered it. What a great author Pagnol is. I've read all his books (in French), and although his stories may appear repetitive, while reading the book you can hear them speaking. And we always learn something new about human nature.

Posted on May 3, 2013 11:58:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2013 12:00:13 AM PDT
Lea Frey says:
This "sleeper" of a movie, starring and directed by Daniel Auteuil is marvelous! Auteuil takes Pagnol's story, so simple, it is almost banal, and makes it into a lovely, simple work of art. His French is a reminder of Provence, and the movie has all the subtlety one expects of his work. I loved every minute of it, and I immediately ordered a DVD of the film. My only criticism is of the subtitles, which were so tiny, I had to move my lounge chair closer to the TV set. But no matter, when the DVD arrives, I will play it in my bedroom, where the TV is only 5 feet from the bed. What a gem of a movie, especially for those who are old and remember a time when life was simpler and love was deeper and less obvious.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2013 4:10:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2013 4:11:15 AM PDT
zeus says:
If you liked this movie then you will really enjoy "My afternoons with Marguerite". Very nice and and great acting by Depardieu!
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