Conversations with My Gardener (12A)
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Time Out says
Tue Nov 18 2008This twee, Rohmer-lite French comedy about the brotherly rapport between a lofty but affable bourgeois painter (Daniel Auteuil) and a salt-of-the-earth gardener (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) is slight but very pleasant to sit through. Adapted from a memoir by artist Henri Cueco and directed with tasteful economy by Jean (son of Jacques) Becker, it’s a predictable tale where bonhomie develops into companionship and life lessons are duly passed across the social divide.
However, it does conform rigidly to preconceptions of the French middle-classes as intellectual, wine-swilling gadabouts whose anxieties about love and art amount to very little in comparison to the struggles of their cloth-capped, working-class brethren whose daily toil against repression and ailment will, if they’re lucky, result in some new tools or even a holiday to the seaside. As with all male-bonding films, there’s also a mild homoerotic subtext which may remind viewers of the romantic exchanges shared between Ted and Ralph from the ‘The Fast Show’.
Author: David Jenkins