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Florence Loiret Caille
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A successful artist, weary of Parisian life and on the verge of divorce, returns to the country to live in his childhood house. He needs someone to make a real vegetable garden again out of the wilderness it has become. The gardener happens to be a former schoolfriend. A warm, fruitful conversation starts between the two men... Written by
I have just come from the FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL in Richmond, VA (2008), where I saw this film. I don't view a lot of American films, so I can't adequately compare, but I do know American film makers don't develop relationships between people the way French film makers do. While American films seem to give little short glimpses into people's lives, French film makers give us long conversations between actors and show us how one person can change the life of another.
In this film, the artist comes home to his roots. When he advertises for a gardener to work the potager at his old family home, an old school mate applies for the job. As they reconnect through the work, each contributes to the other's life. It's interesting to see how the artist's paintings changed as he was influenced by his friend.
The film deals with life, death, family, gardening, painting, sickness and other realities of life. The scenery is beautiful, the actors realistic, and the story believable.
When the director answered questions at the end of the screening, it was very interesting to hear the Americans trying to insert and look for symbolism in many of the scenes, but the director's replies indicated that symbolism was not intended, rather bare content.
I so enjoyed this film and wish I had a copy of it to entertain others with at my home. English subtitles are there, but if you understand French, you will get much more out of this movie. I found the English subtitles very British and not conveying the French spirit at times, but if you don't know the difference, it won't matter.
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