Marius and Jeannette (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A couple puts faith in love to get them through times of extreme poverty in this comedy-drama that was a major box office success in its native France. Jeannette (Ariane Ascaride) is a single mother living in a working-class community in Marseilles; she tries to support herself and her two kids on her salary as a check-out girl at a supermarket and lives in an apartment complex where everyone is thrown into close proximity with everyone else (thankfully, they all get along). Marius (Gerard Meylan) is working as a security guard at a cement factory that has gone out of business; he's also squatting in the building, since the plant is soon to be demolished and he'll be needing his money later on. One day, Jeannette happens by the factory, and spotting several cans of paint, tries to take two of them home with her. Marius spots her and tries to chase her away, while she rails at him with curses against the capitalist system. The next day, an apologetic Marius appears at her doorstep, cans of paint in hand; the two soon become friendly, and a romance begins to bloom, though it quickly becomes obvious that Jeannette's romance novel fantasies about passionate embraces in the sunset are a bit off the mark from what the more pragmatic Marius has in mind. Ariane Ascaride won a Cesar Award (the French Oscar) for her performance in Marius Et Jeannette: Un Conte De L'Estaque; she's married to the film's director, Robert Guediguian.
Art House & International , Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:


Ariane Ascaride
as Jeannette
Gerard Meylan
as Marius
Pascale Roberts
as Caroline
Pierre Banderet
as M. Ebrard
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Marius and Jeannette

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (9)

A charming, easygoing portrait of a bunch of characters in a Marseilles neighborhood...

Full Review… | February 21, 2001
Top Critic


Full Review… | February 21, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Guediguian is a smooth enough director, but it's his casting and some episodes in the screenplay that transfix us.

December 31, 1999
The New Republic
Top Critic

The environment is squalid, the politics naive, the humor fey (and not funny), the narrative barely there.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

There's no question that Jeannette is a richly imagined character, and Ascariade knows exactly how to capture all her moods. But the other people here are largely defined by a trait or two or a political statement.

December 31, 1999
Top Critic

Marius and Jeannette is a sentimental fantasy of French left-wing working-class life, so cheerful and idealized that I expected the characters to break into song.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Marius and Jeannette

I haven't seen or heard from Robert Guediguian in awhile which is a real shame. I enjoyed his slice of life treatments of Marseilles and the humanity of its residents. This was the crowning jewel.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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