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La petite Fadette (2004)

Landry and Sylvinet are identical twins who are distraught when they are separated at the age of fourteen. Sent to work on the neighboring farm because phylloxera has ruined his father's ... See full summary »

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(based on the novel by), (scenario, adaptation and dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mélanie Bernier ...
Françoise Fadet dite Fadette
...
Landry Barbeau
...
Le père Barbeau
...
La mère Fadet
Maximilien Muller ...
Sylvinet Barbeau
Julie Judd ...
Madelon Caillaud
Manuela Servais ...
La mère Barbeau
Pascal Elso ...
Le père Caillaud
...
La mère Caillaud
Guillaume Malavoy ...
Auguste
...
Vincent
Gaël Deviller ...
La soeur no 1
Floriane Devigne ...
La soeur no 2
Lucas Le Bars ...
Le Sauteriot
Laurenzo Ciais ...
Landry enfant
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Storyline

Landry and Sylvinet are identical twins who are distraught when they are separated at the age of fourteen. Sent to work on the neighboring farm because phylloxera has ruined his father's vines, Sylvain, the stronger of the two brothers, recovers from the shock but not Sylvinet, who keeps moaning and sulking. Caillaud, the rich farmer who employs Landry is pleased with the way Landry works and lets him woo his daughter Madelon. Some day, due to a misunderstanding between the twins, Sylvinet runs away from home and disappears in the forest. And while Landry tries to find him in the woods he is helped by a little savage, Fadette, who lives there with her spiteful grandmother and her mentally retarded brother. Against all odds, Landry will gradually for this dirty little wild child. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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20 December 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Little Fadette  »

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Connections

Version of La petite Fadette (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Bourrée?
16 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

"La¨ petite Fadette" belongs to George Sand's country novels ,probably her most famous with "La Mare Au Diable".

As the precedent user points out,the landscapes are superb,the screenplay is well written ,and the acting is generally good,even outstanding : Jérémie Rénier is Landry Barbeau as Sand created him,he tries to be a man but breaks like a little boy ,he seems overtaken by events ,even more than in the novel ;Rénier who really began his career with François Ozon ("Les Amants Criminels" ),is one of today's more gifted European actors;Grandma Fadet is a character which was developed for the screen and it's not a problem for she is portrayed by the admirable Annie Girardot in one of her last parts ;she steals the show from her granddaughter ,the heroine (Mélanie Bernier) ,in every scene she is with her .

A well-written screenplay ,it certainly is,but does it capture Sand's spirit ,the atmosphere of the Berry country in the nineteenth century? I have my doubts :the novel has undergone lots of changes,some of which were needed (the fortune Fadette discovers after grandma's death) ,some less so;the scene when Landry gets lost in the forest is a fiasco : the atmosphere of mystery ,will-o'-the-wisps', the hero's fear in this dark forest where Fadette might have secret powers ,nothing remains of the writer's magic ;but if this is bad,the scene of the ball is worse : showing the peasants dancing the waltz is downright embarrassing ;read again Sand's depiction :it takes place after the Sunday service,and boys and girls ,in their Sunday's best (folk costumes) ,dance the Bourrée and eat "Fromentée "(sort of wheat porridge) beneath the shady trees ;it has nothing to do with the chic people of the film ;to make the matters worse,Sylvinet helps his twin brother with a gun!

The characters have undergone some changes too: Fadette ,who was on the paper an outcast becomes an outspoken girl,a rebel against the well-meaning villagers ;she even strips bare ,and she does not become gorgeous ,she IS, from the beginning to the end;Madelon looks more like a betrayed girl than the coquette affected girl of the book in which she plays a more minor part ;it's the main change of the story :Madelon and Landry do get engaged ,and it is a money match because the father (the always reliable Richard Bohringer) needs the girl's dowry .

However,this MTV movie remains faithful like a dog to the book as far as the twins' relationship is concerned :sometimes a bit heavy-handed (the scenes in the river are naive symbolism) ,it nevertheless keeps the psychological problems of the Bessons (patois for "twins") ,which ,still relevant today ,represents the most modern aspect of Sand's novel ;Maximilien Muller is completely overshadowed by Rénier (besides the twins were both blond!) ,but the movie does not suffer for it,because Sylvinet was a secret bland irresolute boy,lost when his brother was away .

What's terribly lacking is finally the sound of the bagpipes and the hurdy-gurdy!


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