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Young Mathilde Had A Farm
writers_reign9 August 2004
It's formulaic, of course, but the trick with formulas is to act as if they're NOT formulaic and play it as if it were the most original story that ever came down the Pike. And that's what we get here, a charming, dazzling and ultimately Moving film that explores as if for the first time age-old concerns. Serrault has been here before in Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud so this is a good time to deal with the six degrees of separation aspect. In 'Nelly' Serrault was the older man and Manu Beart the younger woman; in Manon des Source Manu Beart tended goats and here Mathilde Seigneur does the same thing. So much for trivia. They really put more than the usual five minutes thought into this one because the credits come up over breathtaking aeriel shots of the Vercours and you can see why so many English people are inspired to buy second homes in France or even move there entirely. This is reinforced when in the first sequence we cut to Sandrine (Seigneur) caught up in a traffic jam in Paris and looking thoughtfully at a travel poster of Vercours on a bus in front of her. This is economical storytelling and in the very next scene she is telling her mother of her decision to move to the Vercours - in the Rhone Alps - and become a goat-farmer. The mother can't understand, natch, why a girl born and bred in Paris and a successful computer instructor would want to give it all up to become a sort of recluse about town. So we get the argument out of the way in the first reel. Sandrine is a gifted student, one of the best in Agricultural school and soon she is ready to invest 450,000 Francs in a remote goat farm. The farm belongs to old Adrien (Michel Serrault) and he comes with it, at least til he can move into his new flat in Grenoble some 18 months away. We are now ready for the classic battle of Old versus New, Young versus Old, initial antagonism giving way to mutual affection. Like I said, we've seen it all before. But what we HAVEN'T seen before is two Class Acts like Serrault and Seigneur and what they serve up is pure DELIGHT. We are spared nothing, this isn't a Travelogue because after an idyllic Summer comes the Winter of Discontent, so bad that Seigneur seriously considers throwing in the towel. Essentially a two-hander that stands or falls by the the quality of the two pricipals it is also fleshed out with really strong support in the shape of Adrien's neighbor and contemporary, Sandrine's colleague from Paris and sometime lover, and her mother. This is the kind of movie that Hollywood has completely forgotten how to make and which the accountants who run the place wouldn't sanction anyway. Thank God the French and other European countries can still turn them out like this. 10/10
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8/10
The farm
jotix1005 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Sandrine, a Parisian young woman who works in computers, has had it! She announces to her mother that after taken the course in agriculture she is going to buy a farm and leave Paris. The training she must undergo is not for the feint hearted, or people with weak stomachs. The graduates must know all there is to know in order to run a successful business under hard conditions.

The farm Sandrine sets her eyes on is owned by Adrien, a lonely man of a certain age who has had it. He plans to move with his relatives in Grenoble. The farm he owned and worked all his life is in the Rhone-Alpes region of France. Situated on a picturesque spot in that area, Sandrine buys it and begins to transform the place. Adrien's only condition is that he wants to stay in his own house for the next eighteen months. Sandrine, who wants to get the farm, agrees.

It becomes clear from the start Adrien doesn't think much of Sandrine's methods. Being computer savvy, she begins to sell her goat cheeses in the Internet. She also takes in guests in the modern barn she transformed. Sandrine also doesn't quite like the old man because she perceives how much he doesn't approve of her changes to his farm. Adrien, who begins to warm up to the girl, makes the first move to annoy Sandrine by doing something to the electricity. That sends her to ask his help in letting her stay with him as it has snowed heavily and her place is freezing.

Adrien begins to relax around the young woman as he lets her know about himself and the life he and his wife had together in the farm. Little by little, both come together and form a bond that will not be broken because both learn to care for the other one.

Christian Carion directed this tale about two lonely souls that are much alike, but live in separate worlds. The film is sympathetic to the young woman who decides to pack her glamorous job and make a living on her own in another field. The great asset the director had was the casting of Mathilde Seigner and veteran actor Michel Serrault, who must have suffered an accident, judging by the way his face looks. Both actors give naturalistic performances that warm the viewer's heart as they discover how alike they both are. Jean-Paul Roussillon and Frederic Pierrot appear in supporting roles.

Mr. Carion made a life affirming movie that will delight audiences that discover it.
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7/10
Margarine, aka Bull Butter
ferguson-611 June 2003
Greetings again from the darkness. Wonderful, subtle French film that displays the nuances of quiet desperation of the young and fear of loneliness and death of the elderly. Make no mistake, the venerable Michel Serrault MAKES this movie! He is downright remarkable as Adrien, the long time farmer, who sells is farm to the young city girl played well by Mathilde Seigner. Many excellent scenes including awkward moments for all. The ridiculous comments about cruelty to animals during the filming is not worthy of mention. This is a fact of life on a farm and obviously the cow scenes were real life - not created for the film. The pig scene, may be painful to watch, but effectively makes the point of life and death on a farm - just like the goat birth scene. As far as the rabbit, give me a break, we see a live bunny and then one being prepared for dinner. This can happen in any restaurant on a daily basis. Yes the hang glider was a bit too much, too often, but I loved the Volvo, the Weimeramer and the "dumb" goat. Very personal film with much insight into human nature at all ages.
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8/10
a film you have to see with your heart, as well as with your eyes
solarium17 December 2002
a slow tempo movie, with no big scenes, no breathtaking special effects, just a small number of actors and the peaceful scenery of the French alps that touch the heart. all these are the background of the slow development of the relationship between the 2 main characters of the story. Sandrine, a young Parisian woman, who decided to leave the big city and buy a farm at the French alps. Adrian is the old owner of the farm, who remained living at the farm after the sale, but at first, refuses to help Sandrine and guide her. the peaceful yet cruel nature is the background of the mutual process that the two characters experience. the old man and the young woman who learn to accept each other and even like each other very much.
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9/10
A Warm Touching Story of Dreams and Realities
gradyharp4 November 2006
'Une hirondelle a fait le printemps' ('The Girl from Paris') weaves its French spell in the manner of the great French filmmakers, and yet this 2001 film was the debut of the man - Christian Carion - who later gave us the tremendously well-done 'Joyeux Noël' in 2005. This story (written by both Carion and Eric Assous) is unique, a study of human desires, needs, and compromises that is more human in feeling than most any other film this reviewer has seen.

Sandrine Dumez (Mathilde Seigner) lives in Paris where she slaves away at teaching computer science to students in tune with the age. She is attractive, successful, popular...and unhappy. She longs to fulfill the dreams of her childhood and become a farmer. Much against her doting mother's advice she enrolls in a school for agriculture and eventually graduates as one of the top students, winning the ability to buy a farm in the Rhone Alps. The snag: the elderly crusty owner Adrien (Michel Serrault), who wants to sell his farm yet maintain his idyllic country existence without the wear and tear of farming, refuses to move off his own property once the contract is signed for Sandrine to take over the land. Sandrine allows Adrien to stay, makes the farm not only succeed despite her novice status, but also adds a hotel ('The Balcony of the Sky') to enhance her income from her goat farm whose chief product is cheese. Encouraging the transition is the jovial neighbor Jean (Jean-Paul Roussillon) whose recent selling of his own farm allows him to travel around in his new Volvo with his trusty (and hilarious) dog Pharaoh. Jean warns Sandrine that when winter come Adrien will become a recluse (remembering the loss of his wife, the Nazi decimation of the French farms, his losses from mad cow disease in the past, etc), yet Sandrine persists - until the winter comes and all but defeats her optimism. Events bond Adrien and Sandrine more closely, so much so that when Sandrine returns to Paris for a much-needed breather - and liaison with her ex-boyfriend Gérard (Frédéric Pierrot) - Adrien discovers how important to him Sandrine has become. The ending is tied into a surprise that touchingly resolves many doubts and questions and allows the viewer to finish the story on his own! The cast is superb, with special kudos to Michel Serrault, a consummate actor. The cinematography of the glorious farm location is by Antoine Héberlé and the very French musical score is by Philippe Rombi. The film is a delight in every aspect and one that deserves repeated viewings. Grady Harp
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"One Swallow Brought Spring" is the translated title.
TxMike16 February 2005
This is a very nice movie that most English-speaking movie goers will never see. Here in the USA it has the title "Girl From Paris", but the French title translates to "one swallow brought spring." Mathilde Seigner, unknown to me before this movie, plays Sandrine Dumez, a single young lady, approaching 30, and living in Paris. One day while running late because of bad traffic, she decides to follow her dream, to get away from the city and become a farmer. This is her story, and also how her life touched that of an old man who thought he had nothing to live for. She was his 'swallow'. Although it is all in French, the subtitles are easy to read and is not a distraction at all. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good story.

SPOILERS FOLLOW. Sandrine enrolls in a two year school to study farming. She is one of the better students and a hard worker. She finds a farm to buy in a beautiful hilly area somewhere between Paris and Grenoble, probably closer to Grenoble. The old owner had lost his wife some years back, and was just tired of farming, but he didn't look kindly upon "school" farmers, and wasn't very helpful at first. In fact it seemed like he wanted her to fail, even though he had contracted to remain living there for 18 months. But he slowly warmed up to her when he saw how kind she was, and how hard she worked. She converted one building into a hotel and advertised it over the internet as "Balconies in the Sky." She sold her goat cheese over the internet. She worked hard every day. Her business was good.

In a key scene during the cold winter, we see him causing a problem with her hotel's electricity, and we assume he is up to no good. But, what he wanted was for her to be near him, so without heat, he invited her to stay with him in the old guest bedroom. A few days later, he fixed the problem. They shared meals and conversation, and they even danced. Not long before, a sour old man, he now had a little joy in his life.

After a particularly hard winter, Sandrine had to take a break, went back to Paris, even taught two days of an internet class. She considered whether she should go back, and decided to. The movie ends with her leading the goats back to the barn in the spring.
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Just how many swallows do make a summer ??
nicholas.rhodes18 April 2002
A stressed Parisienne decides to take up sheep-rearing in the Massif du Vercors, situated not far from Grenoble, France. She buys up a farmstead and the owner of the latter remains on site while waiting for transfer to a town. The film is basically about the tense relationship between the young lady played by Mathilde Seigner and the retired farmer played by Michel Serrault who generally tries to make life hard for her but eventually is taken with affection by the same young lady. I am no fan of Michel Serrault, but his performance in this film is excellent as is that of Mathilde Seigner. Although the script is limited in scope, the dialogues and development of the characters may be followed with pleasure by the spectator. The décors are magnificent as the film was made in natural surroundings so we see the mountains change in form and colour according to the passing seasons. I would strongly recommend the film to people of all countries as it has a very universal message. It may be noted that the film was made by someone who has a very rural background. It is now available on DVD in France and the editor has taken the unusual (but welcome) step of including English Subtitles on the DVD. The title is a play on words because the expression `Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps' = `One Swallow doesn't make a Summer'. So it's as if you were saying ` One Swallow has Made the Summer' ! This film deserves to be successful outside France, unlike many of the other mediocre productions of that country today !
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Is happiness really to be found in the meadows?
Davido-224 September 2001
Sandrine, a parisien girl, fed up with her unfulfilling existence as a computer trainer and the everyday problems of city life decides to leave the Paris to become a peasant farmer.

Sandrine buys a farm high on the Vercors plateau in South-East France from Adrien, an old peasant suspicious of Sandrine's college ideas. It's spring and Sandrine makes a good start, developing other aspects of the farm, a rural Gite welcomes travellers and school parties and a Web sites advertises goat's cheese.

Although the locals are suspicious they are perhaps more accepting of a young, dynamic outsider free of the petty local rivalries that set family against family in these close knit rural communities. This is no Jean de Florette and is illustrated when Adrien defends the changes Sandrine has made to his mates in the village bar.

However the rural idyll is not all that it might seem to city folk. The audience is confronted with graphic scenes of a pig having its throat cut to make Boudin (black pudding) and later of mad cows being killed with a bolt gun. Winter comes and the sense of despair and isolation felt by many small farmers is complete when we see Sandrine in long shot, alone in the barn after one of her goats has stillborn kids.

The film explores the conflicts between conformable but ultimately pointless city life - going nowhere in the Paris traffic and the savage beauty of life on the isolated Vercors plateau. Even the peasants shop at the local hypermarket in Grenoble.

Adrien's initial scepticism gives way to a hope that Sandrine will carry on his farm but he has difficulty with the rapprochement, perhaps caused by events in his own life. The Nazis burned his farm in '44 looking for maquisards and later Government men arrive to kill and burn his cattle infected with mad cow disease. Are the government men worse than the Germans? For Adrien maybe, as these events lead to the death of his wife.

Like the Vercors, Sandrine seems both beautiful but uncompromising but we see constant flashes of the temperament that, like the weather vane in front of her house, cause her to make sudden changes affecting those around her. She is really quite vulnerable needing the occasional love of her city boyfriend and the friendship of Adrien. Maybe it is this qualities that will lead to her eventual success?

A final comment, like many movies these days there is quite a bit of product placement - Volvo cars, Lowe mountain gear, Carrefour but the countryside is wonderfully shot.
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7/10
A different kind of love story
=G=9 December 2004
"The Girl From Paris" tiptoes liltingly though a slice of life of a young French city woman who buys a farm and finds herself wrestling with the rigors of farm life and the stoic, laconic, and crusty old previous owner. The odd couple put of with each other at the outset but as time passes they find something of value in one another and a tender, sensitive but mostly unspoken relationship emerges. A light drama about mutual needs in a bucolic milieu which explores a different kind of relationship, "The Girl From Paris" is a lovely little film with minimal dialogue worth a look for anyone into people flicks of the French persuasion. (B)
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Cruelty to animals voided this film for me
Rotary6821 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is not a review, but a warning. The film is well described in most of the reviews here, so I'll not add my own in that regard. Besides, I never got past the slaughter of the pig. Watching that pig struggle and scream in terror, then hang numbly before being shot was it for me.

I am a vegetarian. Make of that what you will. Yes, I know animals are slaughtered on a farm. But this is a film, and I draw the line at slaughtering animals for entertainment of humans. We eat animals, use them to make clothing. Hey, animals eat each other. These are facts of life, but killing them for entertainment, no--not even if the animal was to be eaten. The film should have been issued with a warning to this effect.

If you feel as I do, don't say I didn't warn you.
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7/10
when even sabotage cant stand in the way of friendship
maryw-515 April 2002
A brave decision for an Internet-teacher in Paris: she leaves everything behind and buys a goat-farm in the south of France, away from all the things she is used to. In a remarkable way she manages to set up a guest-house and an Internet site, on which she sells her goat-cheese. The former owner, who still lives at the farm, starts so like the young woman very much. When they both suffer a fierce winter, it is the beginning of a friendship.
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8/10
A nice mellow table wine, rather than a grand cru.
kadar3 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw this 2-year-old film at the Seattle International Film Festival, as a substitute for a scheduled Czech film (Brats) which arrived with missing reels, and was glad to have seen it, since a movie like this is very unlikely to go into US distribution. I won't repeat points that have already been made here several times, other than to say that this is very much in the European humanist tradition, with actors whose faces are beleivable and have character rather than formuaic good looks, and a plot centered on real life. The very scenic setting is also one of the film's great strengths.

This film indirectly helped me to understand the motivation of periodically striking French farmers, and the hold that this way of life can have on Europeans, where farming is not as easy, as industrialized, or as large-scale as it is in much of America.

Unfortunately, the script doesn't probe quite as deeply as it might, and

POSSIBLE MINOR SPOILERS:

there is a silly recurring bit of gratuitous and vague symbolism in the form of a para-sailer that leads nowhere, and acts mainly as eye-candy. The same can be said about the unnecessarily virtuosic (and at times vertiginous) long opening shot. I'm undecided about the scenes of violence to animals. Yes, living things were harmed -- killed, really -- in the making of this movie, and it could have been made without those acts, but such things are a common and unavoidable part of farm life, and lend reality to a sometimes romanticized portrayal of agricultural existence. On balance, I think this depiction is legitimate, and the scene with the cows may have been pre-existing footage. (It was definitely stock-footage, in a manner of speaking.)

END OF SPOILERS

Not a great or major piece of cinema, but a worthy minor human document, with especially fine acting by the heroine and the two old farmers.
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10/10
Greatest movie , ever !
pcarion12 December 2002
This movie is just great! It was just 90 minutes of pure pleasure : you must run and see this movie if you want to forget all the nasty details of your day to day life. The fact that the director is my brother is just a fortunate coincidence.
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7/10
Discovering French farming-life.
silverauk27 June 2002
Sandrine Dumez (Mathilde Seignier) as a farmer and Adrien (Michel Serrault) the owner of the farm, make a debating couple about the future of the farmers in France. It is a hard job, why does a young wife as Sandrine Dumez choose for it? And why does she try to do it all alone? In her former nine to five job in an office as a teacher she was very good to. In her loneliness she has the time to appreciate nature and she lives in complete freedom and without attachment. Until the moment she encounters by accident a youth friend... Moving picture about the question of the choice in life between freedom in nature and companionableness in town.
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Land rites
federovsky19 December 2008
Crabby old geezer Michel Serrault befriends girl in the French countryside... hang on... isn't that "Le Papillon (2002)"? One does detect a similar demographic here (though Carion's film came first). This is mainly a woman's film so I'm not likely to judge it properly, but I think I know what it was trying to do. It didn't make it. There was a directorial flatness about it, even during the moments that should have been lush. Too many scenes were lank and ineffectual and left us thinking: "well...?". It didn't help that the central challenge - the farm in the mountains which the woman has gone to manage - seemed to only contain a few goats which she led out into the meadows from time to time - hmmm, no herculean task. The humour was too slight and was swamped by a relentless overearnestness; the director couldn't manage to give it any edge and as a result none of it meant much. I'm not at all sure what was the point of the relationship with the old man except to give the film some kind of social arc. More interestingly, the story might be symptomatic of a society that has lost its identity through too much choice, when a single woman who teaches computer skills is not only inspired (a common enough dream) but is fully empowered to buy and manage a huge idyllic farm in the mountains. Some dream.
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9/10
The Farm as Life
gudpaljoey-7858224 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
An engaging movie with a story that's been addressed before but rarely with the believable performances as this one. I fell in love with the main characters, and even the minor ones, as the story is revealed of the beauty of farm life with it's many hardships. This is your life, everyone. This is a four star picture with a blurry fourth star because of a rush to the finish. I have to guess who is in the casket, which bothers me, but having to guess how the life of the girl and the old man will go on doesn't. The film may be criticized for its realistic portrayal of slaughter of animals, but I say, "get over it," and appreciate the great performances of the main characters.
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5/10
Farm Life
kitten_kong18 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ** I've had a problem with films in recent years, regarding graphic scenes. I'll admit I've never been a fan of graphic violence, and my tolerance for it can run hot and cold depending on other factors: what's going on in my own life at the moment, whether the violence is cartoony and so outrageous it can be laughable (e.g., some Tarentino), how much justification is involved, and so on. I'm not overly squeamish, but my level of tolerance is inconsistent. As a result, I've put a lot of recent films on my back burner of "I'll get around to those someday" – high caliber, perfectly fine, intelligent films that just happen to contain some scenes that I don't wish to put in my head at this particular juncture.

However, the one thing I always have trouble with is even the suggestion of cruelty or violence toward innocents, such as animals or children. I rented "Une hirondelle a fait le printemps" knowing very little about it, and unaware of the animal slaughter scenes it contains. I watched it all the way through, and I think it's a fine film in many ways – brilliant performances, gorgeous scenery, a rather silly but dismissible symbolism involving a hang glider, and best of all, that which European filmmakers do so well: a subtle, well-paced drama about everyday life and the human condition. When the film was over, I struggled with trying to reconcile my conflicting feelings, loving much of the film but detesting the scene with the pig, in particular. I did a little research and learned that the director, Christian Carion, is from a rural background, and that the scene was to be shot once, quickly, and that he would use whatever footage he got, regardless of Ms. Seigner's reaction. I don't believe Carion intended to be gratuitous in his choice to shoot this scene. I think he understands farm life for what it is, and certainly what he showed us is far more humane than the horrific practice of factory farming so prevalent in the United States. Also, there was a purpose to the scene, unlike the scene in "Patton" where a cow is actually killed on a bridge because it's in Patton's way. (I'll never watch that film again; what a ridiculous waste of a creature's life to provide completely unnecessary insight into the main character's psyche.) Carion, in his choice to film the slaughter, successfully depicted the hard reality of farm life for those who enter into food-animal production. Having said all that, my final decision is that although I understand where the director was coming from, this scene is ultimately too much; I regret to say that it ruins the film for me. I still admire the wonderful qualities of the film, but it's not one I'll ever want to watch again, even if I were to skip the objectionable scenes. No matter how much I justify it intellectually, I go back to what I said in the beginning; plain and simple, this is not an image I want in my head. It wasn't necessary, Carion could have gotten the idea across without submitting us to this. ("All Creatures Great and Small" comes to mind – a programme that succeeded in a realistic depiction of rural life without hitting us over the head with gory details.) Please understand that I don't believe farmers who raise animals for human consumption are evil. I've known farm families, having grown up in the Midwest, and they took good care of their livestock and made sure the creatures suffered as little as possible when it was time for slaughter. I'm vegetarian but I'm not a militant; I'm not against eating meat, I'm very much against factory farming. But I watch films to escape. Whereas I don't need everything sugar-coated, I do start to feel manipulated when filmmakers insist on showing us way more detail than necessary. As I sat watching "Une hirondelle a fait le printemps," I anticipated purchasing it and watching it repeatedly, until this scene came up. Unfortunately, it cast a depressing pall over an otherwise enriching movie experience. I know there are many reviewers here who love the film, and with good reason, there is plenty here to enjoy. I'm sorry to say that, for me, the bad outweighs the good.
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5/10
I object to the wanton cruelty to animals in this film!
jul_g19 July 2002
Despite the fact that this was mostly a lovely film, visually, in the acting, and script, there are some serious flaws.

There is a horrible scene in which a pig is butchered by by having its brains blown out with a gun, and we must witness the poor animal's suffering from up close. In addition, there is a dream sequence showing cattle being stunned on their way to slaughter, and in addition to all this, there is a close-up of a butchered rabbit which we have seen five seconds earlier in its cute furry bunny form.

This puts a terrible damper on an otherwise sensitive and beautiful film. Why do animals have to die for this?
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8/10
Young city woman buys farm from crusty old farmer.
lehammer8 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A wonderful film. However, I totally agree with the comments surrounding the gratuitous violence done to the farm animals. I kept hoping that there would be a disclaimer "No animals were hurt in the filming of this movie." I felt terrible. Animals died on-screen, so that I could see a movie? I highly recommend cutting those scenes out. As other people have mentioned, the deaths could have been simulated. I bought the DVD and enjoyed all the extras that were provided, Director interview, out-takes, alternate ending, etc, but because of the callous and unnecessary slaughter of the animals, I would not recommend this film to anyone without first warning them of these murderous scenes. How sad that not one of the cast or crew cared about animal rights.
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Good movie
1look2 August 2003
I really enjoyed this movie. I find it a shame there are not more movies like this in the states. It took you on vacation for a couple hours out of my usual world and it did not try to shock and awe me with nonsense.Very grounded and real.Hats off to the French.
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10/10
amazed by the originality of the script
fourva11 May 2002
One of those French films with originality of script and warmth released by great comedians such as veteran actor Michel Serrault. Unforgettable! We get acquainted with the new life of a city woman who learns to live in daily Vercors rural life exigence.
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10/10
amazed by the originality of the script
fourva11 May 2002
One of those French films with originality of script and warmth released by great comedians such as veteran actor Michel Serrault. Unforgettable! We get acquainted with the new life of a city woman who learns to live in daily Vercors rural life exigence. Very atmospheric and most pleasant!
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1/10
this should come with a warning on it..
g_books9 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I'm sorry I wasted my time and money on this one. The scenes of animal deaths could have been filmed discreetly without the loss of lives. I kept waiting for the cutaways from the scenes and it didn't happen. The filmmaker did them because, obviously, he confuses art with violence. The film would have been just a good without those scenes. But for whatever peculiarity of personality and whim, he felt compelled, or indulged, I should say, in filming animals as they died under human machinations.

Now I'm thinking about the hoax the MIT students had going about the bonsai kittens in jars and one other art piece in..Denmark or Sweden... that may or may not have been real, of some idiot taking decapitated mice and stuffing them into other animals and plant parts and bottle tops..It's all death being confused as art is my point ,and this film could have done without it. In all three cases, wacky minds thought it up and called it art. Guys, can't you just go crucify yourselves on your Volkswagens instead? I know it's already been done, but if you have to do something vile, do it to yourself, not to anything--including people-- that are innocent. It's the first rule of S & M games, I am told--do so only with the consent of the participant. You certainly didn't get it from the livestock, now did you?

At least in "Hud" the violence was implied: we see a pit dug, we see cows going in it. but then don't see cows only the mooing is heard. next scene is men with rifles shooting into pits. But we don't actually see them killed. Because they aren't.

There should have been a warning label on this one, folks. No way would I want young children to be forced to see this--or to accidentally see this. I am aware that in the US disclaimers are made on films pointing out that no animals are harmed. I would say the same is true in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. That certainly is not the case in France I would venture to guess.

And no, fellas, not all farms are busy killing off livestock. Some farms are strictly for the plant life. Animal husbandry is one degree (at least here in this country ) and agriculture is another. I guess it's not that way in France. This film should have had a clear warning on it. You know here you can film the ..uh. harvesting of the animals.. either as a documentary or as a snuff film. This guy turned his work into an animal snuff film.

I quit eating beef several years ago and had toyed with eating it again. Not after this. I'm going vegetarian. I have actually helped to clean wild game before, not after this film. In fact I will donate money to the cow sanctuaries in PA.

I think this film gave me a case of PTS. The animal butchery scenes keep rolling and rolling and rolling in my head.
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1/10
Someone needs to kick the director's butt into the 21st century
rooprect21 August 2006
It's the 21st century. We have special effects. We have CGI. We have animatronics. Most importantly we have something called "tact". There is no longer any reason to slaughter animals on screen (as if there ever was).

Wake up, director. On-camera animal slaughter is a shameful thing of the past, like the racial and sexist stereotyping of the 50s. We just don't do it any more. Humans have (tried to) evolve.

Even Takashi Miiake, gore-slasher-director-extraordinnaire, knows how to show us blood and guts without killing anything. It's called creativity. Watch "The Bird People of China" for one of the most dramatic, disturbing animal slaughter scenes on celluloid--ALL SIMULATED. Got it?

And right, 80% of you are sitting there with your finger up your nose saying, "Big deal. Animal slaughter happens every day." Yes, it does, but not in the name of "art/entertainment". Humans kill for a lot of stupid reasons. But in the last 50 years, most of us have realized that "art/entertainment" is not a valid reason to take a life.

OK, there's my sermon. Now 80% of you boobs may click on the "did not find this helpful" button and go watch your stupid movie. You guys are so predictable. But the 20% of folks who have some sense of spiritual perspicacity will probably be relieved not to have wasted any time on this disgusting tosh.
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3/10
Poorly written
aurlb5 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Some of the themes in this movie are attractive for popular audiences : the return to country values, life and death in nature, a woman's bravery, old people's loneliness, and so forth. Alright. But writer-director Christian Carion is unable to exploit them and tell a story to the fullest. He should hire a professional writer to help him put his sensitivity through. So many dramatic elements are planted and never pay off. What about this parachutist we see once in a while? Is this only a metaphor for something? Can't its storyline have an ending, and therefore a meaning, other than something symbolic left to every viewer's appreciation? When a death is announced at one point in the narrative, you expect it is Adrien's (Michel Serrault) because it has been largely planted that he is to disappear. Surprise, it's Jean's (Jean-Paul Roussillon). OK, fair enough. But then, why is Adrien's death never presented? We should have seen how Sandrine (Mathilde Seigner) manages at the farm without the help and presence of Adrien. None of that. On the whole, this film is a narrative waste of good intentions.
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