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Les souvenirs (2014)

Romain, 23, is the watchman of a small Paris hotel. He does not know it yet but he is about to become a novelist... Madeleine is six decades older than him. She is his grandmother. ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Jean-Paul Rouve
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Michel Esnard
... Madelaine Esnard, la grand-mère
Mathieu Spinosi ... Romain Esnard
Chantal Lauby ... Nathalie Esnard
... Karim
Flore Bonaventura ... Louise
... La directrice de la maison de retraite
... Philippe
Jacques Boudet ... Le peintre
Xavier Briere ... Pierre Esnard
Yvan Garouel ... Patrick Esnard
Daniel Morin ... Le caissier de la station-service
Blanche Gardin ... La femme de l'office de tourisme
Laurent Cléry ... Réceptionniste Hôtel des Falaises
Arthur Benzaquen ... Le professeur de yoga
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Storyline

Romain, 23, is the watchman of a small Paris hotel. He does not know it yet but he is about to become a novelist... Madeleine is six decades older than him. She is his grandmother. Surprisingly enough, the age gap does not mean a thing for them: they mesh like magic. It looks as if they were born the same day. One day, Madeleine escapes from the nursing home where she has been placed against her will by her sons (one of whom, Michel, is Romain's father). Romain asks his employer for a leave and joins her in Etretat. Both have a wonderful day in the town of Madeleine's youth... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Comedy | Drama

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Official site [Japan]

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Release Date:

14 January 2015 (France)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,300,000 (estimated)
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(Dolby 5.1)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Swiss censorship visa # 1010.439. See more »

Connections

References Pokémon (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Dialogue Philippe
by Jean-Paul Rouve & Mathieu Spinosi
Label: Columbia (p) 2015 Nolita Cinema
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User Reviews

 
The clown has a heart
23 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

Jean-Paul Rouve is a funny fellow. It has been known for a fact since 1996 when, in association with his friends Pef, Marina Foïs, Maurice Barthélémy, Pascal Vincent and Elise Larnicol, he founded Les Robins des Bois, a comedy troupe famous for their taste for nonsense and their unique way of ridiculing dick-heads and bullshitting. But it is a long time since he has shown he can play something else than Monsieur Van de Velde, the alcoholic soccer fan of "Les Robins". Just remember his first remarkable feat, the loathsome collaborationist Pierre-Jean Lamour in Gérard Jugnot's memorable " Monsieur Batignole " (2002). And - to name only two other roles - the farmer-adoptive father in "Le temps des porte-plumes" or the scruffy crime novel writer haunted by the image of a Marilyn Monroe-like dead girl in " Poupoupidou ". But acting in various registers obviously did not suffice to satisfy Rouve's hyper creativity. Directing pictures (and - of course - playing in them) soon became a necessity: since 2007, he has already managed to make three films, each very different from the other: " Sans armes, ni haine, ni violence ", an action movie about the legendary bank robber Albert Spaggiari, " Quand je serai petit " (2012), a fantastic tale in which his hero (himself?) makes friends with a little boy looking very much like him when he was a child. His latest effort is the newly released (December 2014) " Les souvenirs ", a sensitive evocation of old age co-adapted with David Foenkinos, the author of the novel of the same name. The story (a young adult getting closer to his grandmother whereas his own father and his two uncles prove unable to deal with her with humanity) could easily have given rise to a low grade tearjerker. Luckily, it is far from being the case as Jean-Paul Rouve always finds the right tone, neither too depressing (although " Les souvenirs" is about such grave issues as making lifestyle choices, the purpose of life, old age, retirement, death...) nor too feel-good (yes there is tenderness, love and humor, but always with the appropriate dose of moderation). The result is a touching chronicle examining the difficulties of no fewer than three generations (finding one's way in life for young Romain ; coming to terms with entering into old age and retirement for Michel ; going through one's last days with dignity for Madeleine). Jean-Paul Rouve directs with a steady hand but without showing off. He gets beautiful images from cinematographer Christophe Offenstein (Etretat and its cliffs do inspire the two men), a beautiful score from Alexis Rault and above all fine performances from a wonderful cast : Michel Blanc (petty, pathetic and occasionally obnoxious), Annie Cordy (her restrained acting making her role particularly moving), Chantal Lauby (for once not at all in the register of caricature), William Lebghil (hilarious) and beginner Mathieu Spinosi (very natural and appealing as the young man). Another actor should be noted, Daniel Morin, usually a specialist of saucy jokes on the France Inter radio channel ; in "Les souvenirs" he embodies... Destiny itself. In two scenes set in the shop of a gas station, he guides, as solemn as a judge, two of the characters towards a better life. A remarkable against-type performance. Rouve has undeniably become as eclectic and talented a director as he is an actor. And you will have understood that "Les souvenirs" is highly recommended by this writer.


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