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The Wolberg Family (2009) More at IMDbPro »La famille Wolberg (original title)


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Axelle Ropert (written by)
View company contact information for The Wolberg Family on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 December 2009 (France) See more »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Tableaux of family disjunction See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

François Damiens ... Simon
Valérie Benguigui ... Marianne
Valentin Vigourt ... Benjamin
Léopoldine Serre ... Delphine
Serge Bozon ... Alexandre
Jean-Luc Bideau ... Joseph, le grand-père

Jocelyn Quivrin ... Daniel, l'homme blond
Guillaume Verdier ... François

Jean-Christophe Bouvet ... Maurice, le médecin
Laurent Mothe ... Monsieur RIchard
Eva Ionesco ... Sarah - Joseph's Friend
Arnaud Gaby ... Philippe, le fiancé de Delphine
Elise Santelli ... Stéphanie, amie de Delphine
Charlotte Molinari ... Sonia, amie de Delphine
Alison Reinhart ... Amélie, amie de Delphine
Jessica Eliceyri ... Une amie de Delphine
Philippe Vendan-Borin ... Le gardien du cimetière
Axelle Ropert ... L'institutrice
Stéphane Blancafort ... Alain, l'ami de Simon
David Morazin ... Un ami de Simon
Laurent Pedebernard ... Un ami de Simon
Lionel Sabatier ... Un ami de Simon

Directed by
Axelle Ropert 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Axelle Ropert  written by

Produced by
Jacques-Henri Bronckart .... co-producer: Versus Production
Olivier Bronckart .... co-producer: Versus Production
Philippe Martin .... producer: Les Films Pelléas
David Thion .... producer: Les Films Pelléas
Cinematography by
Céline Bozon 
Film Editing by
Emmanuelle Castro 
Casting by
Elsa Pharaon 
Production Design by
Sophie Reynaud 
Set Decoration by
Véronique Frumy (interior decoration)
Costume Design by
Dorothée Guiraud 
Production Management
Nathalie Hoang Dac Huong .... assistant unit manager
Nicolas Pavageau .... assistant unit manager
Guinal Riou .... production manager
Vincent Tremel .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yann Chemin .... assistant director
Julie Gouet .... first assistant director
Art Department
Veronique Frumy .... upholsterer
Sound Department
Laurent Gabiot .... sound re-recording mixer
Laurent Gabiot .... sound
Aline Gavroy .... foley re-recording mixer
Damien Guillaume .... sound editor
Claire-Anne Largeron .... sound editor
Loïc Pommiès .... sound recordist
Olivier Thys .... assistant foley artist
Philippe van Leer .... foley artist
Philippe Neunreuther .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Pierre Assenat .... assistant camera
Carole Bethuel .... still photographer
Catherine Georges .... first assistant camera
Muriel Olivier .... gaffer
Edouard Omnès .... key grip
Mickaël Radke .... electrician
Benjamin Vial .... key grip
Casting Department
Nathalie Camidebach .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dorothée Guiraud .... costume supervisor
Marie Meyer .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Miguel Bejo .... telecine dailies colorist
Sonia Bogdanovsky .... assistant editor
Raphaëlle Dufosset .... digital dailies colorist: Eclair
Thomas Glaser .... first assistant editor
Juliette Mallon .... post-production coordinator
Benjamin Pasquier .... post-production administrator
Location Management
Mathieu Laemlé .... location scout
Virginie Legeay .... location scout
Clément Tréhin-Lalanne .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Pascal Mayer .... music supervisor
Other crew
Mathilde Boisgontier .... production accountant
Nadège Bournaud .... production accountant assistant
David Hedrich .... production assistant
Francis Ouellette .... distribution: Canada
Nicolas Sacré .... production assistant: Belgium
Alexandra Torterotot .... script supervisor
Johanna Zerbib .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La famille Wolberg" - France (original title)
See more »
France:95 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Tableaux of family disjunction, 2 March 2010
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

An old-fashioned, random, puzzling, but original and in some ways certainly engaging first feature written and directed by Axelle Ropert, The Wolberg Family focuses on Simon Wolberg (François Damiens), the Jewish mayor of a French provincial town, who seems good at giving celebratory speeches but gets into deeper, darker waters playing the roles of husband, father, and son. Simon has several very serious issues he's not quite ready to face. Lovely, intense widescreen images thanks to suddenly busy Céline Bozon (also d.p. for Cédric Kahn's Regrets and Laurent Perreau's Restless) complement the series of rather theatrical set pieces that give the film a novelistic subtlety, or read as a series of interlocking short stories, without quite coming together as a coherent narrative. Dialogue is witty and articulate, but delivered in tableaux. Sometimes character simply stop to philosophize too much. A little more showing and a little less telling on Ropert's part mightn't have hurt a bit.

Axelle Ropert is an actress and film critic (La lettre du cinéma, Les Inrockuptibles) who has done the scripts for Serge Bozon (L'Amitié, Mods, La France, eccentric films much admired by hip French critics), the latter playing the role of Alexandre, Simon's "bohemian" sibling, a wanderer with a guitar who turns up unexpectedly and spreads his disapproval of his conventional brother, urging Simon's wife Marianne (Valérie Benguigui) to leave him and start a new life if she's not happy. In a meeting early on with his aging father Joseph (Jean-Luc Bideau), Simon appears unclear of his identity and admits he's old himself. At home, where we meet wife, daughter, and son, Simon makes veiled comments about a blond man. These guarded illusions are a big hint that Simon's fondest wish in life of a close-knit and loving family is illusory. Pretending to be canvassing for reelection, Simon visits the blond lover of his wife, Daniel (Jocelyn Quivrin) and they have it out in an intense face-to-face palaver in an increasingly violent pour-down rain -- a sequence that stands out as a tour de force but feels a little contrived.

The children's loyalty is tested. Eleven-year-old Benjamin (Valentin Vigourt) knows things are uneasy at home and, usually taciturn and "peaceful," is acting out at school. The vivacious daughter Delphine (Léopoldine Serre) is not only making a big deal of her upcoming eighteenth birthday; she's seriously planning to use this occasion to leave home. She has a "blond man" of her own, it turns out. Daniel has said that Marianne is leaving, but her affair with him was only practice in doing so.

Despite being a brilliant" mayor, Simon's Jewishness or just his oddity set him apart from French community feeling, and besides the town is Basque. After an annual celebration at his mother's grave with his dad at which they quaff Dom Pérignon and offer the deceased a libation, they're warned by a cemetery guard that such behavior is "disrespectful." Meanwhile there is a secret that Simon first confesses to his mother's grave and then discusses with the family doctor.

The film builds to a climax of sorts with Delphine's birthday when further declarations and revelations occur amid a big party of townspeople and friends. There are several people who are leaving, including Delphine, Alexandre, and Simon's chief assistant François (Guillaume Verdier), who decides to give up his job and move away because he was in love with Delphine and is devastated to learn of her having an out-of-town boyfriend.

Beautifully photographed scenes of original and heightened dialogue keep one watching The Wolberg Family, but it tends to have a rather static feel. Behind the warmth there is a certain preciousness.

Sixties soul music is much featured, as in other Serge Bozon-Axelle Ropert collaborations.

La famille Wolberg opened in Paris December 2, 2009 to very good reviews. Included in the March 2010 slate of the Film Society of Lincoln Center-Unifrance jointly organized series the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema and screened at both the Walter Reade Theater and IFC Center, New York.

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