Manon des Sources
Time Out saysEssential viewing for anyone who enjoyed Jean de Florette. Ten years after Jean's death (in this continuation of Pagnol's novel L'Eau des collines), his 18-year-old daughter Manon (Béart) still haunts the hills overlooking the farm stolen from her father by the canny Soubeyran (Montand) and his dim-witted nephew Ugolin (Auteuil). Thousands of red carnations now flower there, but the Soubeyrans' blossoming fortunes are about to wither and die. Paradoxically, Ugolin has fallen in love with Manon, though his declarations fall on stony ground, leading in the end to tragedy. There is a satisfying symmetry to events, with Manon able to take her revenge on the Soubeyrans by stopping up the main village spring. However, in the final scenes, the film slides into a Hardyesque fatalism, with the loose ends tied up a little too neatly, resulting in an air of literary contrivance. It nevertheless succeeds, like the earlier film, in tapping the well-springs of one's emotions.