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David E. Jackson
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In the late eighties ,Yves Robert already transferred the first two books of Marcel Pagnol's souvenirs (four volumes in all)"LA Gloire de Mon Père " and "Le Château de Ma Mère ".They were thoroughly enjoyable and the fact that the "Dictionnaire Des Films " gives them only two stars (out of four) speaks volumes about how condescending the French critics are.The IMDb users displayed more enthusiasm ,quite rightly so.
Sadly Yves Robert passed away some years back.The director of this teleplay dutifully steps in his shoes.He imitates RObert's style,which finally was the right thing to do.We have the obligatory voice over,actors who resemble those of the first two episodes ,and of course the luminous landscapes of Pagnol's Provence.
All that concerns Isabelle was integrated by Robert in "le Château de Ma Mère ".It's more detailed here and the father is less handsome than Jean Rochefort who played the alcoholic poet in the Robert film.
We meet again all the usual suspects :Joseph,Augustine,Petit Paul,Lili,Oncle Jules and Rose.But,because we got accustomed to the former actors,the new ones ,although good,are not exactly OUR characters.
The story takes us from the dear Garrigue to the secondary school where Marcel is first ill at ease because he is a scholarship holder and because he went to the grade school (the other bourgeois pupils had probably a private tutor).A fight against a rich kid ,that augurs badly for what is to follow.
(to be followed in "Le Temps des Amours" )
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