HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Chateau de Ma Mere, Le A last summer in Provence
Year: 1990
Director: Yves Robert
Stars: Philippe Caubère, Nathalie Roussel, Didier Pain, Thérèse Leotard, Julien Ciamaca, Victorien Delamare, Joris Molinas, Julie Timmerman, Paul Crauchet, Philippe Uchan, Patrick Préjean, Pierre Maguelon, Michel Modo, Jean Carmet, Jean Rochefort, Georges Wilson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: After a glorious summer holiday in the hills of Provence, young Marcel Pagnol (Julien Ciamaca) returns home with his schoolteacher father Joseph (Philippe Caubère) and loving mother Augustine (Nathalie Roussel). Yet his heart pines for the countryside making it hard for him to stay focused studying for his all-important exams. So Augustine cunningly sets in motion a series of events that enable her husband to have weekends free to bring the family back to Provence. They share a cosy Christmas reunion with country boy Lili (Joris Molinas) and affable Uncle Julies (Didier Pain). Joseph also runs into his old friend Bouzigue (Philippe Uchan) whom he helped pass an exam. The grateful man tells Joseph about a secret shortcut to their holiday home. To shorten their two-hour long journey down to twenty minutes the Pagnol family sneak across the grounds of a palatial mansion that belong to an ageing aristocrat. Yet this innocent deception turns out to have unforeseen consequences.

Le Chateau de Ma Mère was the second half of Yves Robert's two part biopic about the childhood of French national treasure, playwright, novelist and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol. Its predecessor La Gloire de Mon Pere was a glorified travelogue, virtually plot-less yet captivating. Robert's stunning evocation of bucolic splendour of the France's Provencal region drew an enthusiastic audience who made this the highest grossing French film of 1990. Part two has more substance along with a darker more melancholic tone. Marcel is no longer simply a wide-eyed little boy smitten with the beautiful countryside but well on the path towards maturity. He starts to see the world through an adult's eyes, laden with beauty yes but equally capable of deceit and outright cruelty. Robert makes it clear the characters Marcel encounters here, including wily and good-natured Bouzigue, the absinthe-addled literary poseur (Jean Rochefort) and the mean-spirited country policeman (Jean Carmet), played a major part in shaping his fictional universe. Le Chateau de Ma Mère details how the loss of childhood shapes an artist through his concerted efforts to somehow regain, reshape and learn something from the past.

Once again the tone is set by Vladimir Cosma's achingly lovely score which provides a stirring accompaniment to the spectacular images so beguilingly photographed by D.P. Robert Alazraki. When the adult Marcel Pagnol (Jean-Pierre Darras) describes the hills of Provence as the love of his life, we know grow to understand exactly how he feels. Perhaps the film's chief accomplishment is the deftness with which Robert interweaves Pagnol's love of nature with a love of art, poetry, music and eventually romance itself. For in this installment Marcel falls in love for the first time with a charming but snooty young girl named Isabelle, brought vividly to life by the enchantingly elfin Julie Timmerman. Devoted at first, Marcel feels put out when his petulant pre-teen paramour goes from play acting the princess to his knight to making him bark like a dog and eat bugs for her childish amusement. When reality proves disappointing he returns to his first love, the countryside.

Although episodic as before the sequel is faster paced with an almost comic strip like procession of gentle, often charming gags. An engaging cast invest their roles with tremendous conviviality whilst etching characters that are believably flawed. As the title suggests the film is as much an ode to Pagnol's mother and her influence in shaping his profoundly humanistic outlook as it is a celebration of Provence. It retains a fundamentally benign view of life leaving the Pagnol's attempt to sneak across the rich man's land as the closest thing to dramatic tension. Events take a decidedly melancholy turn throughout the coda visiting tragic fates upon almost all the principal characters save Pagnol who brings the story full circle as an established filmmaker revisiting his youth. In fact the finale is deeply haunting and affecting in light of the jovial tone of the first film, underlining the fevered desire of the artist to somehow twist the past toward a happier outcome.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1412 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: