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A young woman arrives in Paris where she finds a job as a waitress in bar next on Avenue Montaigne that caters to the surrounding theaters and the wealthy inhabitants of the area. She will meet a pianist, a famous actress and a great art collector, and become acquainted with the "luxurious" world her grandmother has told her about since her childhood.
Cécile De France,
Sandrine, a woman in her thirties gets tired of life in Paris and decides to leave her work in computers and become a farmer. She takes the required practice for two years, and after that she buys an isolated farm from Adrien, an old farmer who decides it's time to retire. However, Adrien wants to stay a few more months before moving away from the farm, and the rough winter finds them together... Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
'Une hirondelle a fait le printemps' ('The Girl from Paris') weaves its French spell in the manner of the great French filmmakers, and yet this 2001 film was the debut of the man - Christian Carion - who later gave us the tremendously well-done 'Joyeux Noël' in 2005. This story (written by both Carion and Eric Assous) is unique, a study of human desires, needs, and compromises that is more human in feeling than most any other film this reviewer has seen.
Sandrine Dumez (Mathilde Seigner) lives in Paris where she slaves away at teaching computer science to students in tune with the age. She is attractive, successful, popular...and unhappy. She longs to fulfill the dreams of her childhood and become a farmer. Much against her doting mother's advice she enrolls in a school for agriculture and eventually graduates as one of the top students, winning the ability to buy a farm in the Rhone Alps. The snag: the elderly crusty owner Adrien (Michel Serrault), who wants to sell his farm yet maintain his idyllic country existence without the wear and tear of farming, refuses to move off his own property once the contract is signed for Sandrine to take over the land. Sandrine allows Adrien to stay, makes the farm not only succeed despite her novice status, but also adds a hotel ('The Balcony of the Sky') to enhance her income from her goat farm whose chief product is cheese. Encouraging the transition is the jovial neighbor Jean (Jean-Paul Roussillon) whose recent selling of his own farm allows him to travel around in his new Volvo with his trusty (and hilarious) dog Pharaoh. Jean warns Sandrine that when winter come Adrien will become a recluse (remembering the loss of his wife, the Nazi decimation of the French farms, his losses from mad cow disease in the past, etc), yet Sandrine persists - until the winter comes and all but defeats her optimism. Events bond Adrien and Sandrine more closely, so much so that when Sandrine returns to Paris for a much-needed breather - and liaison with her ex-boyfriend Gérard (Frédéric Pierrot) - Adrien discovers how important to him Sandrine has become. The ending is tied into a surprise that touchingly resolves many doubts and questions and allows the viewer to finish the story on his own! The cast is superb, with special kudos to Michel Serrault, a consummate actor. The cinematography of the glorious farm location is by Antoine Héberlé and the very French musical score is by Philippe Rombi. The film is a delight in every aspect and one that deserves repeated viewings. Grady Harp
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