The crowd of French stars and directors scattered through this movie makes it that much more fun for those who know them, but the movie goes beyond in jokes and star-spotting. A tour manager hired to shepherd a Georgian male singing group falls slowly and sweetly in love with their accompanying young Russian translator, a fanatic film fan. In a restaurant the men spontaneously sing a beautiful song and another customer joins in. Turns out he's a former (?) film actor. Looking at the guide, he says "Gascogne's son". Gascogne, now dead, turns out to be a nearly mythical figure from the 60s who knew everyone and did everything. The guide has never known his father and is sensitive and angry about it: he both wants and doesn't want to believe. Through this actor he meets another, and through him a whole society of film people who instantly open their doors to the "son of Gascogne." The Russian girl is more entranced with the stars than the boy, but both retain an innocence that flowers amid the strange and sometimes dangerous film world crossed with the musical tour. A chase after Gascogne's long lost final film (perhaps hidden in the boy's attic?) gives the movie a nice little thread of plot, tied to the old actor (now a chauffeur) trying with some charm to turn the lost film into cash. The mystery of Gascogne, as father and film maker, and the travails of the would-be lovers thrust into a glamorous, fast-traveling society, provide a dual focus, mixing memory and desire with odd and intriguing story, characters and atmosphere. Nostalgic, charming and fun.
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