Screened Monday, October 13, 2008
Daniel Auteuil (star of Claude Berri’s adaptations of Marcel Pagnol’s Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring) makes his directorial debut with this affectionate remake of a Pagnol classic. The sun-soaked melodrama stars Auteuil as Pascal Amoretti, a hard-working well-digger who is raising six girls on his own, after the death of his wife. Holding a special place in his heart is his beautiful eldest daughter, 18-year-old Patricia (the luminous Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), who has come home from school in Paris to help care for her sisters. Patricia soon catches the eye of Jacques (Nicolas Duvauchelle), the playboy son of a rich storekeeper. Their attraction quickly blossoms into something more, and when Jacques, a pilot, is suddenly called away to fight in the Great War, Patricia is left alone to face the consequences of their passion. Upon learning that he is about to become a grandfather, Pascal is torn between honor and his love for his daughter. Beautifully shot in the Provence countryside, the film captures all the warmth and humanist spirit of Pagnol’s original work.