Actor Daniel Auteuil (Cache, My Favorite Season) debuts as director with this remake of Marcel Pagnol's 1940 melodrama about a rural laborer trying to find a husband for his 18-year-old daughter. The young woman (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) fancies the charismatic son (Nicolas Duvauchelle) of a wealthy businessman; her father (Auteuil) prefers his trusty yet nebbishy apprentice (Kad Merad). Auteuil's direction is a lot like his acting—well-mannered and likable, yet staid and ultimately inconsequential. French critic Andre Bazin argued that U.S. filmgoers who embraced the original movie did so because they admired France itself; in the same way, modern American viewers may enjoy the remake for the way it evokes Pagnol's authentic World War I-era milieu. In French with subtitles.
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