Marius has left, signed up for a five year hitch on a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. In his few letters to his father César, he hardly mentions Fanny. When she finds she is pregnant, she considers her options: suicide, to raise the child on her own, to wait for Marius, or to marry Honoré Panisse, the older merchant who seeks her hand. These choices are emotional: to raise a bastard, to trust in Marius' eventual return, to believe he'll want to marry her, to save her mother from shame, to fool Panisse, to give her child a name. In scenes dramatizing Fanny's honesty, she talks to her mother, then Panisse, César, and later Marius, and she makes her choices.Written by
If you can get by the first fifteen minutes, get into the leisurely pacing and that fact that nothing is going to explode and no one shoots anybody or stabs anyone in the eye, and the film is about learning to live with other human beings, about being a parent, about falling and staying in love, perhaps you'll come to love this film, too.
The trilogy is set in another time long gone--Marseilles, a provincial fishing village, where Cesar and his son operate a sort of bar where locals drift in and out and play cards; a pretty young woman sells seafood outside, and she's known son Marius since they were children. Enough said: except that the acting is amazingly naturalistic for a 1930's film, that the performance by famed French entertainer Raimu is beyond words, is simply astounding in his range of emotions, his understanding of the human condition. This understated drama is a quiet masterpiece.
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