Time Out says
French actor Daniel Auteuil has a long history of involvement in adaptations of the work of the mid-twentieth-century populist writer and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol. As a young actor in the 1980s, Auteuil starred in ‘Jean de Florette’ and ‘Manon des Sources’, and he made his directing debut in 2011 with ‘The Well-Digger’s Daughter’. Now in his sixties, he returns to Pagnol’s warm Provençal bosom with ‘Marius’, the first of two creakily old-fashioned adaptations of a pair of Pagnol’s Marseille-set plays from the 1920s and 1930s, which Auteuil also directs and stars in. (‘Fanny’ is having a simultaneous release, while plans are already afoot for ‘César’, the third and final film in the planned trilogy.)
‘Marius’ is the first of two episodes in the same will-they-or-won’t-they story about Marius (Raphaël Personnaz), a young man who lives and works in the family’s dockside bar with his father (Auteuil), and harbours dreams of going to sea, and Fanny (Victoire Bélézy), a girl from a poorer background who has eyes for Marius but also attracts the attentions of a well-meaning local businessman (Jean-Pierre Darroussin). Auteuil slavishly follows Pagnol’s stagebound storytelling and hokey view of life. Far too many scenes are weighed down by dialogue and lack spark, and worst of all, the actors in the title roles are embarassingly unengaging.
Cast and crew