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Tous les soleils (2011)

 -  Comedy  -  30 March 2011 (France)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,193 users  
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Alessandro teaches musicology at the university of Strasbourg. He is also a volunteer reader in hospitals. He shares his apartment with his daughter, 15-year-old Irina, and his anarchist ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stefano Accorsi ...
Alessandro
Neri Marcorè ...
Luigi dit Crampone
...
Florence
Lisa Cipriani ...
Irina
...
Agathe
José Luis Roig ...
Fernando
Xavier Boulanger ...
Dieter
Aude Koegler ...
Francette
Philippe Rebbot ...
Jean-Paul
Marie Seux ...
Malou
Margot Lefevre ...
La grand-mère (as Margot Lefevre Chan)
Jean-Marie Holterbach ...
Le grand-père
Patricia Joly ...
La directrice du département musicologie de l'université
Emilie Gavois-Kahn ...
La factrice
Fayssal Benhamed ...
Le lieutenant de police
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Storyline

Alessandro teaches musicology at the university of Strasbourg. He is also a volunteer reader in hospitals. He shares his apartment with his daughter, 15-year-old Irina, and his anarchist brother Luigi. Life is not always rosy at Alessandro's for three main reasons : he is a widower and has never really recovered from the death of his young wife ; his brother is some kind of parasite who refuses to sell his paintings to capitalist speculators and so to contribute to the cost of the household ; Irina, whom he has raised alone since she was five months old and always felt close to, is rapidly changing from little girl to teenager and wishes to be treated as such. One day, Florence, a beautiful young woman, gets into Alessandro's life. Will he eventually take his chances with her? And will he manage to stop stifling Irina? And will he finally get on with Luigi? Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

30 March 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Tous les soleils  »

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Trivia

Swiss censorship visa # 1008.278. See more »


Soundtracks

I Go To Slee^p
Performed by The Pretenders
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User Reviews

 
Angst and smiles - but more smiles than angst
24 April 2011 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

Philippe Claudel is a multi-talented artist but a pessimistic one , whether as a novelist (his last book, "L'enquête"being a hopeless statement on today's working world), a playwright (the poetic but dark portrait of a lost man in "Le paquet"), a scriptwriter ("Les âmes grises" and its description of personal tragedies set against the historical tragedy of World War I) and a film maker (his first movie "Il y a longtemps que je t'aime" examines the difficult reunion of two sisters after one of them has spent fifteen years in prison). But, for his second movie as a director, "Tous les soleils", he has changed his tune, opting for a much lighter tone. Quite rightly so insofar as humankind does not come down to misery and suffering, a state of things which great names like Shakespeare and Corneille - among others - have perfectly understood. Even such a deeply desperate artist as Ingmar Bergman went along with the sound rule of occasionally resorting to comedy (the delightful "Smiles of a Summer Night" for example), thus sticking more closely to the lot of the human condition than by systematically emphasizing its absurdities and miseries. Of course, Philippe Claudel's option of a feel-good approach does not mean that he has suddenly put on rose-colored spectacles. What "Tous les soleils" is about is no less than... life and death, the end of life, widower-hood, serious illness, father-teenage relationship, family, love, art, politics, Berlusconi and accepting or rejecting an unjust world.! Hard to stomach if you are content to read this list, but very easy to follow when told by a warm and playful story-teller like writer- director Claudel. All these topics are indeed harmoniously blended into a very simple story line, which the general public will not find hard to follow. It concerns Alessandro, a musicology professor at the Strasbourg University, whose everyday life is, without being tragic, no pleasure cruise. The man has mourned his wife, killed in a car accident while their daughter Irina was five months old, for more than a decade now and and has never actually been able to get over this trauma. Since then, he has acted both as a loving father and a mother substitute to Irina but lately has started stifling her for not realizing that she has grown and needs some leeway, hence tensions arising between them. Another bone of contention is the continuous presence under his roof of his anarchist brother Luigi, a fugitive from Berlusconi's Italy. The latter, despite being a much sought-after painter, refuses to sell his paintings to the "capitalists" and brings no money home, another cause for those rows regularly rocking the apartment and driving the neighbors mad. Things tend to evolve the day when, at a funeral, Sandro meets a beautiful woman who moves him at last. Florence, the lady in question, is the estranged daughter of Agathe, an old woman he used to read books to in hospital. Meanwhile, Irina falls for high school student Aurélien. All will end well provided that Alessandro tones it down a bit with Irina..., if Florence leaves her present companion..., and if Berlusconi leaves power!

The relationships between a single father and his coming of age daughter is far from original of course but Claudel deals with the issue with a refreshingly fine touch. The writer-director deftly manages to avoid the usual clichés and gets from young Lisa Cipriani a very natural, engaging performance. He also succeeds in avoiding being over- sentimental, particularly when he tackles a delicate subject like death (present in outline throughout the film). In this, he is helped by the humorous tone that underlies the whole narrative. Not that the quality of the comedy is always of a high quality, more particularly when it comes to the sequences featuring the female head of department exchanging pornographic e-messages with a correspondent she believes is Alessandro. Most of the time though, the humor bites home, especially in the scenes involving Luigi, played by a deliciously unrestrained Neri Marcori. His ranting and raving against Silvio Berlusconi and his anarchy lessons to the mail-woman, for instance, are killingly funny.

In this respect, it must be said that a great deal of the pleasure generated by "Tous les soleils" is derived from its Italianity. The choice of two Italian actors to play the two immigrant brothers is perfect : Stefano Accorsi is irresistible as this ordinary man (intellectual but not highbrow) whose unease translates into outbursts and is perfectly complemented by the already mentioned Marcori. Their incessant spats, their permanent restlessness give this French movie shot in Strasbourg a pleasant (and unexpected) Italian comedy overtone.

On the French side, Anouk Aimée brings her great class to her character, creating the dying woman she embodies with restraint, elegance and depth. And it does not take long to Clotilde Courau, who only appears at the fifty-fifth minute, to exude emotion.

All in all, Philippe Claudel's second directorial effort, a successful blend of smiles and angst, proves a very satisfying experience, all the more pleasant as the score gives the audiences the opportunity to discover beautiful traditional Italian music, the tarantella. Well,you can do without seeing 'Tous les soleils', but you will feel all the better if you go and see it.


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

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