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The Adolescent (1979)

L'adolescente (original title)
The summer of 1939. Marie, at 13, goes with her parents to visit her grandmother in a small town near Avignon. Although rumors of war reach the countryside, it's an idyllic place. Marie's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mamie
Francis Huster ...
Alexandre
Laetitia Chauveau ...
Marie
Edith Clever ...
Eva, la mère
Jacques Weber ...
Jean
...
André, le menuisier
Hugues Quester ...
Le fils du forgeron
Roger Blin ...
Romain
Frank Muth ...
François, 'l'innocent'
Maurice Baquet ...
Jules, le cantonnier
Nadine Basile ...
Rose, épouse du contonnier
Françoise Bette ...
Violette
Michel Blanc ...
M. Bertin
Bérangère Bonvoisin ...
La fille du maire
Juliette Brac ...
La femme du forgeron
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Storyline

The summer of 1939. Marie, at 13, goes with her parents to visit her grandmother in a small town near Avignon. Although rumors of war reach the countryside, it's an idyllic place. Marie's parents are constantly making love. Surrounded by sexual frankness, Marie fancies herself a woman and develops a crush on Alexander, the town's young Jewish doctor. She's despondent when he treats her as if she were a child. After Marie's father abruptly leaves for a few weeks to assist with a relative's harvest, Marie's mother and the doctor disappear into the woods for hours at a time. Marie tries to spy on them. When dad returns, what will the family and the doctor do? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

24 January 1979 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Adolescent  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Soundtracks

La Découverte
Written by Philippe Sarde
Performed by Hubert Rostaing Et Son Orchestre directed by Carlo Savina featuring Marcel Azzola (Accordion) and Stéphane Grappelli (Violin)
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User Reviews

 
Easily overlooked masterpiece
10 June 2006 | by (amsterdam, holland) – See all my reviews

Directed by no-one less than Jeanne Moreau, this movie, known for it's quality as one of the standards in the 'Coming of age' genre, is far more than that. It's a story about 'La douceur de vivre', or the 'The gentle way of life' - the pureness of French country-life in the years before the second world war. It's an extremely well crafted story of love, death and life, and the little secrets the villagers share, seen through the eyes of a perfectly authentic 13-year-old girl.

Simone Signoret gives a stunning performance, subtle and genuine, as the grand-mere (Mamie) of Marie, guiding her grandchild through the summer and her first encounters with love and romance. Marie falls in love with a Jewish doctor, 30 years of age, only to find that the doctor has more interest in her Dutch mother, who is in the middle of marital troubles with her dominant spouse. Marie realizes she will be the only one who can save her parents marriage and, with the help of Mamie, consults the local 'witch' to create a love-potion.

The question is, will everything return to normal, before the end of summer? And if war awaits, will life ever be the same again? One thing's for sure: you'll only lose childhood once, and it will never return...


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