Daniel Auteuil’s inauspicious but cheerfully populist directorial debut sees him waltzing headlong into Marcel Pagnol’s Provence of the 1940s with this sun-bleached tale of salty, lionised bumpkins, dastardly shop owners, sexually inexperienced daughters and fighter pilots whose morals are as loose as their flies. Looking as if the negative has been dipped in liquid neon to get brightness levels just below the point where sunglasses would be a medical must, Auteuil’s unembellished depiction of the French countryside hardly demonstrates a sharp eye for landscapes. And, in dramatic terms, envelope-pushing this is not, especially for someone who has collaborated with Michael Haneke. Yet there’s a broad appeal to be gleaned from its antiquated charm, modest focus and a clutch of ripe, old-school character turns, especially from Auteuil in the lead and French stalwarts Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Sabine Azéma. Suffice to say, fans of ‘Jean de Florette’ and ‘Manon des Sources’ will be in hog heaven with this one.
|Release date:||Friday December 9 2011|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Kad Merad, Daniel Auteuil|