La tête en friche (My Afternoons with Margueritte) (2011)
Critic Consensus: It's sentimental and treacly, but that's not enough to prevent My Afternoons with Margueritte from being truly affecting.
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Critic Reviews for La tête en friche (My Afternoons with Margueritte)
A sweet puff of a film, My Afternoons With Margueritte is as disarming as it is absurd.
[Depardieu] is as emblematic of his country as Tom Hanks is of ours, and "My Afternoons With Margueritte" is his "Forrest Gump." Only better.
The happy ending lays it on too thick, but what the hell: In for a dime, in for a dollar.
Audience Reviews for La tête en friche (My Afternoons with Margueritte)
As a freelance handyman, Germain(Gerard Depardieu) leads an up and down life. On the down side, there is trying to get money out of clients for a completed job, writing his name on a war memorial and living in a trailer in clear sight of his domineering mother(Claire Maurier). At least, Annette(Sophie Guillemin), a much younger bus driver who he is dating, will spend the night with him there. As far as his afternoons go, there is Margueritte(Gisele Casadesus), an elderly woman who befriends him over lunch one day in the park. "My Afternoons with Margueritte" is a touching slice of life movie that is helped by a thoroughly lived in performance from Gerard Depardieu. As the movie states eloquently, it is about love in all of its forms, including between generations.(I still think it is weird to be called 'young man' this side of 40.) A special emphasis is given to a love of literature. For the record, Germain is not stupid, nor really slow, just uneducated, which may not be surprising considering his bad experiences with the educational system when he was growing up. And you can see what might have happened if he had a good teacher to guide him in the first place.
A thoroughly delightful little film that reminded this viewer of the inspiration he received from his grandmother that has resulted in a lifelong love of reading. Germaine (Gerard Depardieu) is a lovable oaf, with a beautiful girlfriend, a crazy mother, and a group of "friends" who delight in mocking him. Margueritte ("with two T's!") is an elderly woman who introduces Germain to the wonder of the written word after a chance meeting on a park bench. The relationship that developed between these two was juxtaposed against Germain's childhood, revealed in flashbacks, that was marked by emotional abuse from his mother and the cruel torment inflicted by a teacher. We also get to see the reaction of his friends who find him less willing to endure their taunts. This one hit all the right notes and is one I will enjoy watching again.
An oaf (Gerard Depardieu) forms an unlikely friendship with a 95-year old woman who sees the intelligence buried inside of him. This sweet, literate character study will play well for it's target audience of little old ladies, but less well for its secondary audience of semi-literate lummoxes.
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