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Jean De Florette Reviews

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Christian C

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2013
A beautiful film in every way. Well, almost every way -- Gerard Depardieu is not handsome even when caught on film when he was young and thin. Despite his aesthetic challenges, the story is marvelous and beautifully acted.
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2007
A deep, moving tragedy drawn from the bible's book of job. It reaches out as a lesson in cinema and in life.
cancercapricorn2002
cancercapricorn2002

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2007
When Galinette (Daniel Auteuil) returns from military service to his farm house in France he plans to cultivate carnations. However he and his uncle Cesar Soubeyran (Yves Montard) don't have sufficient water on their land to feed a profitable crop. When they find an unused spring on a neighbour's land they block in and plan to buy the land. When the land is inherited by Jean (Depardieu) and his family, Galinette and Cesar plan his downfall so they can later buy his land and use his spring for their crops.

This is a beautifully filmed movie - almost a tourist film for the France countryside. However the plot is not so picturesque, but rather deals with the conflicting human qualities of hope and greed, enthusiasm and envy. Jean represents the spirit of hope, a city worker who comes to the farm with new plans for breeding rabbits, growing vegetables etc., all to the scorn of the locals who believe his mad schemes will never work. Cesar represents the greed of the film, he drives the plan to frustrate Jean to the point that he'll leave and sell his land for cheap. The main character is Galinette, and it is him that we're meant to follow. He starts with the gentle dream of building up his land and growing his flowers but during the course of the film he is changed by the envy of Jean and the greed added to by Cesar. While Jean is the study of a man driven by hope who fights frustration and despair throughout, Galinette gives into greed to achieve his dream. It isn't reading too much into it to see Cesar as the devil driving Galinette while Jean is watched over by Manon (Mazurowna) his angel daughter.

The performances are good with Auteuil (Galinette) good as the man torn by his desires. Depardieu and Montard (Cesar) are good as the flip sides of humanity. Mazurowna is good as Manon, she doesn't have too much to do but is good considering her age. The three male leads are the key and don't disappoint - they are all totally believable in their roles as devils, angels and mankind placed in the bodies of French farmers.

This film is powerful as it gradually shows us how greed corrupts and perhaps how hope is not a quality appreciated by all - especially where envy exists. It is difficult to stomach because we're meant to like Galinette from the start but the ease with which he changes it alarming, but all the more frightening by the way it could easily happen to anyone in their life.

The film is not complete as it is "part one" with the sequel "Manon Of The Springs" providing the conclusion. On it's own the conclusions it leaves you with are perhaps realistic but quite bleak none the less. This is an interesting, beautifully shot study of human nature in all it's horror.
John B

Super Reviewer

February 15, 2010
One of my favourite films and the "prequel" to the equally fabulous Manon of the Spring. The landowners who ultimately bankrupt Gerard Depardieu's bureaucrat are wonderful schemers.
hawkledge
hawkledge

Super Reviewer

February 9, 2009
Moving and powerful pastoral tragedy. Director Claude Berri shoots the countryside in grand scope, dwarfing the human figures whose daily exertions hardly make a mark on it.
rockingphlegm
January 9, 2010
This movie truly shows the depravity of greed, and how far people are willing to go to get what they want. Not a happy movie by any means, but certainly one that shows the reality of life.
laney33
June 25, 2008
Great movie! It hasn't rained in a long time, and the crops are withering. They must get rain soon, or find water, so that they will survive. A good story. Depardieu is fabulous in it.
Celtia
May 29, 2008
Happy but poor French guy gets screwed over by his neighbor regarding water. Gerard Depardieu is very good in this.
Valerie G

Super Reviewer

May 11, 2007
This is the epitome of French film, to me. However, if you see this, YOU MUST FOLLOW IT UP WITH MANON OF THE SPRING!!
noahsfamily
December 29, 2007
A gripping tale of revenge and its consequences set in southern France. See this first and then Manon of the Spring.
enmontez
November 8, 2007
Manon of the Spring is my favorite, but you must watch this first. You will go through every emotion. It has subtitles and a brief nude scene.
precious2atlambs
August 14, 2007
oooolala! Give me Gerard Depardieu any day of the week! This film is hilarious. I will warn you if you are rusty on your french...you'll have to read the subtitles!
jonathanstephenson
July 5, 2007
Powerful story, beautifully filmed superb acting, not much more to say than that, one of my favorites!
Harobed
April 5, 2007
This is a story that touches so deep...CUTS so deep, while at the same time holds you transfixed by what is unfolding, that you find yourself zipping very quickly thru the French subtitles (big benefit : A sentence spoken in French takes much longer to say than one spoken in English) and not miss anything going on, on the screen. After the story is told...one is left feeling haunted by the unforgettable sequence of events !! Passionate; tragic; revealing the depths a human soul can sink to for one's own gain, only to find out, that, to act in such a manner, you are actually destroying...yourself.
The awful revelation of it all comes together in the concluding film: "Mannon Of The Spring". These two present such dramatic high quality, high caliber classics...that...once seen... they never really leave your lives...!
alexrosas2008
March 27, 2007
This film was very good, and it was sad at the same time! I definitely recommend this film to all my friends.
February 23, 2014
Even the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. And "Jean de Florette" is a beautiful story that does not escape this fate. The characters are complex, and family relations may leave you slightly confused as they become entangled in their emotions.
Nina Gao
February 23, 2014
Even the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. And "Jean de Florette" is a beautiful story that does not escape this fate. The characters are complex, and family relations may leave you slightly confused as they become entangled in their emotions.
January 10, 2014
The most beautiful film ever! It makes you think over and over about it...
January 3, 2014
Looking a little dated but still worth watching
filmfanatic
March 20, 2011
A slow-paced, beautiful film with epic sweep, Jean de Florette breaks down man's most inherent attribute: greed, and centers it around what he needs most: water. This simple subtlety provides insight into the true intentions of humans and leaves room for some terrific performances.
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