Sixty-year-old Angèle Barberini, an actress, returns to her father's villa, situated in a beautiful creek near Marseille. She left the place twenty years before following a terrible trauma she experienced there, swearing never to come back. But now Maurice, her genitor, who has just been the victim of a stroke is persistent vegetative, with no hope of recovery and her presence is needed. Her two brothers, Joseph, an embittered retired worker, and Armand, the manager of the local restaurant, welcome her. They must look to the future and decide what measures to take concerning the villa and the restaurant. But the past, on the other hand, has its say.Written by
Footage from the film Ki Lo Sa, by the same director, is used in a flashback sequence. The footage features the same actors of the main characters, but 31 years younger, which gives the flashback a realistic feel. See more »
In a cove not far from Marseille, the actress Angèle joins her two brothers in their birthplace, where following a drama, she has not set foot for 20 years. All three are gathered around their father, diminished by a stroke. An opportunity for them to take stock of their lives, the evolution of society and what remains of their ideals and commitments.
As melancholy and twilight as Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard", from which the script is very freely adapted, "The Villa" sings the sad lament of lost illusions . « The Villa » is no longer about a cherry orchard but revolves around a quality restaurant at moderate prices nestled in the hollow of a southern cove. Two brothers and their sister (an actress who returns to her childhood home for the first time in twenty years) meet up with their father who has suffered a stroke. It is an opportunity for them to take stock of their lives, of the evolution of the world and what remains of their ideals. The outcome is not a happy one: just like the father's restaurant, still held at arm's length by one of the two sons, is threatened, their constituent values (humanism, solidarity, the fight for justice) are are questioned by a society that is now gangrenous with ultra-liberalism....
Robert Guédiguian's spokespersons are none other than his three fetish actors, Ariane Ascaride (all in thwarted tenderness), Jean-Pierre Darroussin (and his weary irony) and Gérard Meylan (a figure of uncompromising fidelity to his initial ideals), who have evolved alongside him over three decades. A good idea of the director is to include in the 2016 film an excerpt from "Ki lo sa", shot in 1986, featuring our three musketeers still fresh and naïve. It is both touching and striking.
In the end, a disenchanted film, but not as radical as Chekhov's play. In this damaged world, there are still a few positive points left, the superb Calanque de Méjean, the gentle smile of Bérangère (radiant Anaïs Demoustier), a fisherman in love with theater, a moving reconciliation and even, in the last part, the revelation of a new battle to be fought. Bitterness certainly, but neither sourness nor boredom
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