Co-adapted by director Claude Berri from a novel by Marcel Pagnol, this hugely successful French historical drama concerns a bizarre battle royale over a valuable natural spring in a remote French farming community. City dweller Jean Cadoret (Gérard Depardieu) assumes ownership of the spring when the original owner is accidentally killed by ...
Co-adapted by director Claude Berri from a novel by Marcel Pagnol, this hugely successful French historical drama concerns a bizarre battle royale over a valuable natural spring in a remote French farming community. City dweller Jean Cadoret (Gérard Depardieu) assumes ownership of the spring when the original owner is accidentally killed by covetous farmer Cesar Soubeyran (Yves Montand). Soubeyran and his equally disreputable nephew Ugolin (Daniel Auteuil) pull every dirty trick in the book to force Cadoret off his land, but the novice farmer stands firm. Although the Soubeyrans appear to gain the upper hand, the audience is assured that they will eventually be foiled by the vengeful daughter of the spring's deceased owner -- thus setting the stage for the film's equally successful sequel, Manon of the Spring. Hal Erickson, Rovi
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Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Béart, Hippolyte Girardot, Margarita Lozano. New. 1987 Run time: 235. Buy with confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Delivery Confirmation included for all orders in the US.
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Subtitles notwithstanding, this is a good movie; one well worth watching.
May 14, 2009
This film is part one of a beautifully constructed story -- Manon des Sources (Manon of the Spring) is part two -- and together they weave a perfectly plotted story of love, avarice, longing and revenge. The acting is superb, the pacing and rhythm are perfect, and the setting is beautiful, and crucial to the story.
Jean de Florette is the essential set-up for the second part of the story - don't skip it. It is a little weaker than Manon, mainly because the character of Jean is almost one-dimensional -- the Good Man, loving and generous, in tune with the earth. This is forgivable, because other characters are layered and complex, and because the story is in the web of relationships and the consequences of small acts over decades.
Water plays a key role in both films, and motivations -- love, patrimony, revenge, regret -- flow through every development. The ending of the second film feels inevitable, even though it surprises.