My Afternoons With Margueritte

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Jean Becker
  • Cast:Gisèle Casadesus , Gérard Depardieu
  • Release Date:April 07, 2011
  • Distributor:Icon
  • Running time:92 minutes
  • Film Worth:$14.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

While light on plot and a little slow at times, the real standouts here are the two lead actors who create an utterly believable and moving bond.

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My Afternoons With Margueritte explores what it means to be in a family; furthermore, it explores what life is like when your family doesn't love you. Early on, the film's main character laments that "some people are mistakes" in one of the film's typically bruising moments of quiet tragedy.

Gerard Depardieu, one of the most prolific French actors of his generation, is modest and appropriately low key as Germain Chazes. The townspeople of the small French village where he lives think that he is kind, yet stupid, while he is, in fact, illiterate. Everyone, close friends included, are accepting of him as long as their opinions aren't challenged. Germain, an oddity even in provincial France, visits the park most days to count the pigeons. It is here that he meets kindly senior citizen, Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus), who treats him as an equal. They eventually strike up a close friendship; she reads to him and shares her knowledge of books and travel; while he shares his knowledge of gardening and pigeons. When Margueritte starts to lose her vision, it is up to Germain to try and learn how to read - finally, he has been compelled to take the step for the sake of another.

This is not a plot-driven yarn, with many moments given to philosophical life discussions. The French, you say? No, never. The gentle stream of character development, however, means that the events of the build-up to the climax are left feeling a little limp, if not lacking in heart. The quaint town, the eccentric village full of characters, and their daily trials are charming enough, but the standouts here are definitely Gisele Casadesus and Gerard Depardieu: their lasting bond is utterly believable in a final scene that is as moving as it is perfectly fitting.

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