Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot ... See full summary »
Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot bring himself to tell his son Cesariot that his real father is Marius, the absent son of César, Cesariot's godfather. Panisse leaves that to Fanny, the lad's mother. Dissembling that he's off to see a friend, Cesariot then seeks Marius, now a mechanic in Toulon. Posing as a journalist, Cesariot spends time with Marius and leaves believing tales he is a petty thief. Only after the truth comes out can Marius, Fanny, César, and Cesariot step beyond the falsehoods, benign though they may be. Written by
"Life" accounts more than literate "existentialisme"
Ah, vraiment and verily, I say unto you, Marcel Pagnol was a "camp" of the premier order. Not only that, he succeeded in morphing what was and is, at heart, mere soap opera and sitcom into the stratosphere of cinema verite and classic dramaturgy. Poor "planktonrules" has to be a juvenile, like the Pierre Fresnay of Marius, else he would have savored the wit and bonhomie of this conclusion to an essentially witty and clear-eyed projection of a worldly if folksy milieu and ambiance, a fleshly and fleshy cinematic approximation of a time and a place and a people of more than recognizable humanity. And "Writers Reign" continues to have his way with the rest of us, even as I must demur, quibble?, that too, on two points, to wit: First, to me at least, Gene Kelly was no more and no less of a "dancer" than Fred Astaire. Yes, the former projected a street-urchin pretension to the latter's urbane and seamless "dancing," with or without Ginger, Rogers that is. Neither began to essay the likes of "true" dancing, as in ballet and/or "modern," wherein the entire body instrument is involved, trained and disciplined to a T-fall. Both danced with their feet only. Second, I find his putdown of Charles Laughton contumely rather than mere "criticism." If not for "Bligh," at least for his stark stagings of "Night of the Hunter." That said, Raimu is indeed, peerless, a Gallic Beery avec subtleties AND profundity, and most if not quite all of his cronies, female as well, rise to the occasion of universal gemutlichkeit and whimsy, barbs and all. As for the young Fresnay and the better-as-matron-than dewy-eyed deb Demazis?, both mature and convince in the finale, revelations and confessions and insights tout-a-l'heure?
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