The Well-Digger's Daughter (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Well-Digger's Daughter (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Well-Digger's Daughter Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Twenty-five years after rising to international acclaim in Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring, Daniel Auteuil returns to the world of Marcel Pagnol for his first work as director with this celebrated remake of the 1940s classic. Auteuil stars as the eponymous well-digger Pascale, a widower living with his six daughters in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I. His eldest, Patricia (the luminous Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), has returned home from Paris to help raise her sisters, and Pascale dreams of marrying her off to his loyal assistant Felipe (Kad Merad). But when she's impregnated by a wealthy young pilot (Nicolas Duvauchelle) who promptly abandons her for the frontlines, Pascale is left to contend with the consequences. -- (C) Kino Lorbermore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Daniel Auteuil, Marcel Pagnol
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 24, 2012
Box Office: $0.4M
Kino Lorber Films - Official Site


Daniel Auteuil
as Pascal Amoretti
Astrid Bergés-Frisbe...
as Patricia Amoretti
Nicolas Duvauchelle
as Jacques Mazel
Kad Merad
as Felipe Rambert
Sabine Azéma
as Mme Mazel
Coline Bosso
as Isabelle
Ilona Porte
as Roberte
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Well-Digger's Daughter

Critic Reviews for The Well-Digger's Daughter

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (23)

"The Well-Digger's Daughter" isn't a mind-blower; it's not supposed to be. It's a light lunch with an old friend whom it's good to see again.

Full Review… | October 12, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Auteuil's direction is a lot like his acting -- well-mannered and likable, yet staid and ultimately inconsequential.

Full Review… | October 4, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

To call "The Well Digger's Daughter" an old-fashioned film is to pay it a compliment. Here is a love story embedded in traditional values.

Full Review… | October 4, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

"The Well-Digger's Daughter" is perhaps a bit too sentimental. But the performances are so heartfelt that its occasional excesses are easily forgiven.

Full Review… | August 17, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

It's classical moviemaking of a sort rarely seen now, a love story of surprising joy with rounded, flawed but humane characters.

Full Review… | August 16, 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

What resonates is a sense of humanity that sometimes gets lost in films with less regard for traditional storytelling, or respect for simple emotion.

Full Review… | August 10, 2012
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Well-Digger's Daughter

After a lower class man's daughter becomes pregnant, he must reconcile the mores of his time with his love for his family.
Daniel Auteuil's directorial debut is a delightful, life-affirming film with an understated complexity. The film encounters class issues deftly, as the main conflict involves two nouveau riche men assuming that they should feel a put-upon shame greater than they feel a real love. Sweeping shots of beautiful countryside and finely crafted scenes (though too talky at times) worthy of the stage abound, and Auteuil proves himself to be a very good director. Auteuil and Astrid Berges-Frisbey deliver compelling performances as father and daughter.
Overall, this is a nice film to see with nice people to spend time with -- a fine end to a tough week.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


I really enjoyed the story of a proud man dealing with the shame of a daughter who winds up paying dearly for a single mistake. This was a well done film, with many tender moments as well as some that were hard to take. The pacing was deliberate, but never dragged, the characters were fleshed out and not merely caricatures, and the cinematography was sensuous. There was a lot to like here, although the ending dipped perilously close to smarmy.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


I would be the first person to say that Daniel Auteuil has earned a right to direct a film with his long track record of superb performances. But why did he have to choose something as creaky, dated and melodramatic as "The Well-Digger's Daughter," itself a remake of a 1940 movie of the same name? Ostensibly it is about 18-year old Patricia(Astrid Berges-Frisbey) on the eve of World War II but it is not really since even when doing nothing Daniel Auteuil knocks the movie out of orbit just with his regal presence.

Patricia faces limited choices in life between her sexist father Pascal(Auteuil), a well-digger, who complains endlessly about having six daughters and no sons, Pascal's assistant Felipe(Kad Merad) who covets Patricia for marriage despite his being middle-aged and balding and wealthy good-looking Jacques(Nicolas Duvauchelle) who pressures Patricia into having sex at the very least.(And who ever heard of an independently wealthy well-digger's assistant, anyway?) It is actually with Pascal's assent that Felipe is not only interested in Patricia but also a younger daughter. While you could maybe just write this off as a different time, in reality, there is no way this does not come off as plain old creepy which the movie fails to even acknowledge.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The Well-Digger's Daughter Quotes

Felipe Rambert: Maybe I don't have honor, but I have love. One can replace the other.
– Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
Pascal Amoretti: I see now that it's wise to be weary of people who sell tools but never use them.
– Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
Pascal Amoretti: She's a princess, see?
Pascal Amoretti: Can you see yourself wed to a princess?
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
Pascal Amoretti: She isn't a daughter, she's a treasure from the Good Lord.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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