In southern France, a Franco-Arabic shipyard worker along with his partner's daughter pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.In southern France, a Franco-Arabic shipyard worker along with his partner's daughter pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.In southern France, a Franco-Arabic shipyard worker along with his partner's daughter pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.
At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father who forces himself to stay close to his family despite the schisms and tensions that are easily sparked off and that financial difficulties make even more intense. He is going through a delicate period in his life and, recently, everything seems to make him feel useless: a failure. He wants to escape from it all and set up his own restaurant. However, it appears to be an unreachable dream given his meager, irregular salary that is not anywhere near enough to supply what he needs to realize his ambition. But he can still dream and talk about it with his family in particular. A family that gradually gives its support to this project, which comes to symbolize the means to a better life. Thanks to its ingeniousness and hard work, this dream soon becomes a reality...or almost.... —Venice Film Festival
It could have been an excellent movie
Something unusual happened at the end of this movie projection. Several people not knowing each other gathered at the cinema exit and discussed the movie. It appeared that the movie was spoiled by several cinematographic tics which the director promoted to the status of the style and used all over the movie "ad nausea". He extends the lengthy sequences probably to make us share the uneasiness of the characters in the given situation (the mother scolding the child for weeing in her panties, the guests waiting for the cous-cous, the final run of Slimane and the belly dance). But this is a 0-level translation of the reality into the cinematographic language. The profusion of the very close-ups and the clip-like filming with very short shots is a minor default. It is probably one of the points which makes some people like the movie as "modern". The movie is almost twice as long as usual and I can not find any cinematographic reason to make it this long, if not just the desire to convince the spectator (and jury) that this movie has something exceptional. We spent some good moments but we hope that this gifted director will not be encouraged to belaborates more in his future creations.
- Mar 9, 2008
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