Biopic of the great French ocean-going adventurer and filmmaker.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Philippe Cousteau
Simone Cousteau
Philippe Tailliez
Benjamin Lavernhe ...
Jean-Michel Cousteau
Vincent Heneine ...
Albert 'Bébert' Falco
Thibault de Montalembert ...
Etienne Deshaies
Roger Van Hool ...
Daniel Cousteau dit Daddy
Jan Cousteau
David Wolper
Olivier Galfione ...
Frédéric Dumas
Martin Loizillon ...
Henri Plé
Ulysse Stein ...
Philippe Cousteau (enfant)
Rafaël de Ferran ...
Jean-Michel Cousteau (enfant)
Chloe Williams ...
Eugénie Clark


From 1949 to 1979, thirty years in the life of captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the famous researcher, scientist, inventor, filmmaker whose greatest achievement is to have made the general public more curious - and accordingly closer - to the sea. A genius, a leader of men and a charismatic opinion maker, Cousteau was not without defects, his being unfaithful to ever-supportive wife Simone for example or else his vainglory..., but let him who is without sin cast the first stone. The spectator leaves Cousteau in mid-1979 at the worst time of his life: his favorite son, Philippe, has just died in the crash of a plane he was piloting. The dashing conqueror of the sea has suddenly become a broken old man, tempted to discouragement but his eldest son Jean-Michel is by his side to help him overcome his grief and go on with his mission... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 October 2016 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A mélység kalandora  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€20,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


It was filmed in Antartica, Argentina. See more »


References Le monde du silence (1956) See more »


California Dreamin
Written by John Phillips & Michelle Phillips
Performed by The Mamas and the Papas
Distrubuted by Dunhill Records
(from the 1965 album "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears")
See more »

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User Reviews

More of a family story than an environmental statement, but that's fine
14 December 2016 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"L'odyssée", also known as "Jacques", is a French 2-hour movie from this year written and directed by Jerôme Salle, the man who wrote the original work that the Depp/Jolie movie "The Tourist" is based on. And even without major awards recognition, this film we have here is still among Salle's most known now. This is probably mostly due to the decent cast (Wilson, Niney, Tautou) and also because of the popularity of the central character here. It is about Jacques-Yves Cousteau, one of the biggest explorers, especially when it comes to sea and underwater expeditions. But this is only partially what the film is about. There is major focus in here on how he struggles in the relationship with his son Philippe and how it takes a major change in JYC's approach to his profession until he finally manages to bond with his son. We also find out about the man's relationship with women, especially his wife (played by Audrey Tautou from "Amélie"). And of course the job plays a really big role. We see how Cousteau becomes a big star in the United States and you could see this movie here almost as a biopic, even if it ends a long time before his death.

And still, this film is almost as much about the character played by Pierre Niney (one of France's rising stars right now), namely Cousteau's son. We see him in his very early years, but also later on as an adult and how his approach to environment and science is fundamentally different compared to his father's idea. The professional life of Commandant Cousteau constantly seems to get in the way between the two. Anyway, overall, I enjoyed the watch here. Maybe it was a good decision by Salle to focus more on the conflicts between the characters and keep the environmental message in the background for almost the entire film, but then I'd also have hoped for a different ending as these last words shown on the screen sound almost as if this was the core message of the film, which it definitely wasn't. So it is not a perfect watch, but still a fairly good one and I learned many new things about Cousteau, his life and his family. The real life characters make it an even more exciting watch. And lets be honest, there is some major irony to Cousteau Jr.'s death caused by technology and he still ends up dead in the water, a reference that shows how these two worlds simply do not fit together in terms of what nature may have in mind for us. I liked all of the acting in here and while there was an occasional weakness in the story, I certainly give this film a thumbs-up. This film has probably the best trailer I have seen all year, so maybe my expectations were simply too high. In any case, it was a satisfying watch and I think that you should check it out if you get a chance to see it. It also never drags, which is a great achievement for a film with this runtime.

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