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I recently saw this at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival and it's a good film with some very good acting from Jean Pierre Darroussin and Valérie Stroh in the principal roles. Veteran French actor Darroussin makes his film debut as a director here with his screenplay adaptation of the Emmanuel Bove novel and casts himself in the role of Charles Benestau, a wealthy lawyer who after a divorce gives up his life of luxury to live as a kind of hermit in a tenement. He runs his law practice from his apartment through word of mouth clientèle only since he has given up owning a phone. One of his clients is an alcoholic wife abuser who lives in the tenement and sends his wife into a coma after a brutal beating. She goes to the hospital and he is off to jail so Benestau takes their teenage daughter to live with him until the mother can recover and return home. Benestau's family has ostracized him for dropping out of society and living like a poor commoner and more problems arise between he and the housekeeper who has agreed to help him look after the girl. It's small film with Darroussin in a fine performance as kind, giving man who always tries to do the noble and right thing but health issues has made him a fatalist. It's a good film and I would give it a 7.0 out of 10.
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