6.6/10
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La pièce manquante (2013)

In their big house somewhere in Burgundy, André Mouton, a sculptor, Paula, his wife for sixteen years and their two adopted children, Violette and Pierre, live happily. Or so it seems. For ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (collaboration) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
André Mouton
...
Paula Mouton
Armande Boulanger ...
Violette Mouton
Élie Lucas Moussoko ...
Pierre Mouton
Marc Citti ...
Gilbert - le détective privé
Geneviève Mnich ...
Armande
Romane Garrès ...
Claire
Jules Sadoughi ...
Le garçon
...
L'entraîneur de Violette au trampoline
Lou Aubert ...
Une trampoliniste
Line Bourse ...
Une trampoliniste
Déborah Cherki ...
Une trampoliniste
Marjorie Foulon ...
Une trampoliniste
Marion Gemperle ...
Une trampoliniste
Elise Poissonnier ...
Une trampoliniste
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Storyline

In their big house somewhere in Burgundy, André Mouton, a sculptor, Paula, his wife for sixteen years and their two adopted children, Violette and Pierre, live happily. Or so it seems. For one day, Paula disappears without trace. Totally disoriented, Paul tries to hide the truth from his children as well as from the whole village but the thing is not sustainable forever. Worse, Violette and Paul suffer much, each in their own way. In desperation, Paul hires a private detective... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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19 March 2014 (France)  »

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(Dolby 5.1)

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2.35 : 1
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Soundtracks

Sol
(French version of "Soleil")
Written by Tash How and Sandy Albert
Spanish adaptation by J.M. Pater
Orchaestra conducted by Saint-Preux
Performed by Françoise Hardy
(1970)
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User Reviews

 
The winter of feelings in the heart of glorious summer.
5 May 2015 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

A pleasant house waiting to be fully redecorated somewhere in the Burgundy countryside and its beautiful garden. Four people living in harmony : the father (André, a sculptor and occasional hairdresser), the mother (Paula, a translator), a teenage girl (Violette, the couple's adopted daughter) and a younger boy (Pierre, also an adopted child but of African origin)... A few impressionistic touches are enough for director Nicolas Birkenstock to suggest the impression of peaceful happiness in which they live. And then - bang ! - this fine balance gets shattered all of a sudden : Paula leaves home overnight, for no apparent reason, without explanation of any kind. André, at a loss first, feels more and more devastated as he realizes his wife may have gone forever. At the same time, he tries, in his own - clumsy and somewhat aggressive - way, to protect his kids by hiding the truth. Less and less successfully so as time goes by... A traumatic situation for sure, which could give rise to a psychodrama overflowing with cries, tears and gesticulations. But Nicolas Birkenstock is no Bergman or Xavier Dolan, even less a clone of Zulawski. So don't expect any hysteria or melodramatic scenes : desperation IS there but it runs deep, concealed behind the unsaid, with only a few violent breakthroughs. In fact, the director prefers capturing the characters' distress through the intimate style he used to evoke their initial contentment, which by contrast exacerbates it. And he has a special talent for that. In " La pièce manquante ", Birkenstock's first feature (following four excellent shorts), penetrating sharpness and sense of modesty mix for the best. As it is true that by avoiding emotional blackmail the author only grasps the vertigo that seizes the characters better. Philippe Torreton gives a dedicated performance as André the father. On par with him is young Armande Boulanger, intense in the role of his daughter. The sunshiny cinematography by Pascale Marin is fine too, marking a striking contrast between the glorious sunny outside atmosphere and the inner winter of feelings the characters have sunk into. Don't miss this touching movie. It was overlooked at the time of its release but can be rediscovered at any time whether on a computer or TV screen. It deserves it.


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