MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 5,110 this week

The Secret of the Grain (2007)
"La graine et le mulet" (original title)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,511 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 37 user | 102 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father ... See full summary »

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 30 Jun 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 20 Mar 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 20 May 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Secret of the Grain (2007)

The Secret of the Grain (2007) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Secret of the Grain.
19 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Stars: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
The Class (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

Director: Laurent Cantet
Stars: François Bégaudeau, Agame Malembo-Emene, Angélica Sancio
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Turkish man travels to Istanbul to find the daughter of his father's former girlfriend.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Baki Davrak, Gürsoy Gemec, Gengiz Daner
A Separation (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Stars: Peyman Moaadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat
Amour (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Fish Tank (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman assists her friend in arranging an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania.

Director: Cristian Mungiu
Stars: Anamaria Marinca, Vlad Ivanov, Laura Vasiliu
Talk to Her (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti
Incendies (2010)
Drama | Mystery | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette
Biutiful (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hairdresser agrees to foster him on weekends.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France, Jérémie Renier
Sueur (2008)
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Stars: Hafsia Herzi, Henri Cohen, Rabah Khaïfa
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Habib Boufares ...
Slimane Beiji
...
Rym
Farida Benkhetache ...
Karima
Abdelhamid Aktouche ...
Hamid
Alice Houri ...
Julia
Bouraouïa Marzouk ...
Souad
Cyril Favre ...
Serguei
Leila D'Issernio ...
Lilia
Abelkader Djeloulli ...
Kader
Bruno Lochet ...
Mario
...
José
Sami Zitouni ...
Majid
...
Olfa
Mohamed Benabdeslem ...
Riadh
Hatika Karaoui ...
Latifa
Edit

Storyline

At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father who forces himself to stay close to his family despite the schisms and tensions that are easily sparked off and that financial difficulties make even more intense. He is going through a delicate period in his life and, recently, everything seems to make him feel useless: a failure. He wants to escape from it all and set up his own restaurant. However, it appears to be an unreachable dream given his meager, irregular salary that is not anywhere near enough to supply what he needs to realize his ambition. But he can still dream and talk about it with his family in particular. A family that gradually gives its support to this project, which comes to symbolize the means to a better life. Thanks to its ingeniousness and hard work, this dream soon becomes a reality...or almost.... Written by Venice Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It takes will, courage and determination to realise a dream. But most of all it takes family See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 December 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret of the Grain  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,864 (USA) (2 January 2009)

Gross:

$86,356 (USA) (27 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting was supposed to start in the summer of 2005 but one of the leading actors was sick, which resulted in a major delay. Thus, filming actually started on 5 September 2005 and was still running by 16 January 2006. The set was on a boat in the port of Sète for at least six weeks from October to December 2006. Outside temperatures were very low, as opposed to what they should have been if schedule could have been held. This led the production to set up large tents near the boat with heating systems for the actors and extras to remain comfortable between takes. See more »

Quotes

Julia: [talking to Slimane about her husband] Is that a family man ?
Serguei: Never there for his kid.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Flipped (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
CousCous
11 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Abdel Kechiche's tragicomedy is a film of contradictions and contrasts. It is both quiet and boisterous, with a script that is both understated and energetic, and which explores (among other things) how communities both accept immigrants, and yet remain suspicious of them.

Couscous follows sixty-something Slimane Beiji, a Tunisian-French shipyard worker in the French port town of Sète, played with reserved dignity by Habib Boufares. Despite being divorced, Slimane still spends a lot of time with his ex-wife and their extended family. The rest of his time is spent with his girlfriend and her daughter, who own a quayside hotel.

When Slimane is laid off, it comes as the last straw in a life that has become increasingly redundant. Left with nothing to lose, he hits upon the idea of opening a restaurant on an old boat. The project becomes a focal point for Slimane's extended family: his sons lend a hand with the boat's renovation; his girlfriend's daughter helps acquiring the necessary bank loans and official documents; and his ex-wife will cook the restaurants signature dish – the eponymous couscous.

The restaurant works as a symbol of the hopes and dreams of immigrants – how all they want is to integrate and work in their new community, whilst still retaining the culture and customs of their homeland. But it also signifies the duality of a community's attitude toward immigrants. During a party thrown to promote Slimane's restaurant, the guests all compliment their host and try their hand at a little Arabic; and yet, when Slimane's back is turned, they whisper amongst themselves that "he's not from around here." But Couscous really shines in its extended scenes of dialogue. At several points during the film we join Slimane and his family as they sit in kitchens or dining rooms and do nothing but talk. And it is a joy to watch. The script shows an eye for authentic dialogue, meandering through topics as diverse as racism in the workplace, the extortionate price of nappies, and using Arabic in the bedroom. The genuine performances from the supporting cast draw us further into these scenes, and the cinematography keeps us there. The camera squeezes between family members, getting the kind of intimate close-ups that give a real impression of a loud family dinner.

This light-hearted attitude, present in the early scenes, contrasts with a grimmer final third, in which situations get progressively worse. And as things get worse, family relationships start to break down.

This also reveals the film's ultimate irony. Slimane's family is a close-knit unit when the members each live separate lives. But when the restaurant brings them together, family unity dissolves and they resort to serious bickering.


13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This is a terrible film! java13690
Didn't the ending spoil the whole movie? andrefbento
Hafsia Herzi's dance nyc7
Phenomenal movie farrellhehn
Lost my appetite Bribaba
Release in the UK? lovefilm375
Discuss The Secret of the Grain (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?