Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria)
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Sweet and remarkable
Everyone is nice but there is the bad husband (called Youssef) the bad mother ( Spanish who dances the flamanco) the bad nephew (Belgian with the required accent) I do not see how the precision of their origins brings what so ever in the scenario. Just the small reflexes of xenophobia ordinary to the frankfurters, sausage-baguette style Amelie Poulains french frogs . Nauseous.
Film pour la télé et pour les gens agés, pas de doute. Amusant parallèle de la vie d'enfant du héro avec sa vie courante et comment il déconstruit la manière gênante de son élevage, si je puis dire. C'est assez comique par occasion même si on devine ce qui va se produire ou dire. Deviner juste est en fait un amusement en soi.
Enjoyable drama where unlikely feel-good connections are made.
Quite often films like this can be seen as sickly and rather a bit much for those who want a more realistic plot as well. With this you can get that feeling of emotion that can feel a little showy, kind of like "look here we are trying so hard to make you feel all fuzzy", I'm not saying that is all together a bad thing but I do feel movies like that can get a little too seen before sometimes. The movie has a small cast in terms of main characters but that makes it much more personal and at times you can kind of connect to these French townsfolk and the entire goings on that happen.
The plot is about a man named Germain who is a little on the less intelligent side but is a sweet man in ways and shows it in this film most whilst feeding his beloved pigeons in the park. Germain comes across an old lady who also feeds the pigeons and strikes up a nice little friendship where both tell each other of their lives and read to each other as well. Of course not all the plot is set in the park and between these two characters, Germain also has to contend with his less than loving mother and friends who often ridicule him for his less than smart remarks. I felt the story does go along nicely, yet again the sickly parts can clog up part of this small and light movie but in the end it isn't long enough to make me care about much of the more cheesy moments.
Gerard Depardieu is Germain and he does a good job, he makes him exactly what he is meant to be, not too intelligent but caring, can get a little angry but at the same time wants to learn and better himself too. It is not only Depardieu who is good, Gisele Casadesus as the old lady and the name in the movie Margueritte is in fine form, she is acting here way into her 90's and really gives this her all and creates a likeable character and a little lady who maybe could remind many of us of grandmas. I liked most of the cast as well but I also like that the main two are given a lot of time together, the movie never tries to make too much small talk with minor characters and so I felt it flows well for such a short film.
Jean Becker directs and does a nice job; I felt he captured the right tone of the town used and gets that French film kind of spirit really going. Becker co-writes as well and the script is really where a lot of the movie can feel overly sweet, the ending leaves a nice taste but boy just before that it made me think it was going to be a horrendous ending and too predictable, would have ruined the movie but luckily the guys behind this get it right. I must also mention the wonderful score which is not used a lot but when it is it's lovely and really brings out the best of the certain scenes involved.
With this you can get that kind of award bait movie that really tries to either pull at the heart strings or make you laugh or sometimes both and this movie feels very much like that. I will say though that it is recommendable, it is layered in typical kind of plot but still wraps the whole thing up nicely and adds a nice little bow to this more than OK movie. Don't expect something amazing, this is good but far from sublime, still shows though the genuine skill that French cinema can produce and also that Depardieu is still going strongly as an actor.
What a warm loving film, loved it
This is such an amazing experience!
Esse é um filme doce e maniqueísta. Porém, seu maniqueísmo só se reflete nos personagens secundários, aqueles que são criados para criar tensão e colorir o universo de Germain Chazes, um faz-tudo que vive em um trailer. Todos zombam de Germain por ser ignorante, e sua ignorância é explicada através da diferentes flashbacks de sua infância onde ele é maltratado pelos professores e por sua própria mãe, que o considera um acidente. A relação entre os dois é a base para entendermos a dinâmica de sua nova amizade com Margueritte, uma senhora que se senta à tarde na praça da cidadezinha onde moram para observer os pombos e realizar uma atividade para ela prazerosa e para Germain uma verdadeira tortura: ler. Porém, à medida que ele aprende que ler é enxergar o mundo à sua volta através de símbolos cuja tradução lhe foi negada desde criança, Germain passa a se tornar o que chamamos de homem completo, o que é interessado em sua vida e busca seus próprios interesses. É capaz de se soltar das amarras nefastas da ignorância graças ao convívio com uma pessoa que, apesar de estar no fim da vida, ainda tem muito a oferecer a qualquer um que tiver a paciência de parar e ouvir.
The film takes place in a village in a (presumably Southern) France. The reason I think this takes place in Southern France (as opposed to other parts of France) is because the weather is depicted as sunny and slow-paced, which fits the stereotype of what Europeans think of Southern France's villages, such as those located in Aquitaine and Provence.
The film is about a friendship between a somewhat illiterate middle-aged man named Germain Chazes (Gérard Depardieu) and a 95-year-old lady named Margueritte (Gisèle Casadesus) who once had travelled the world as WHO scientist during the peak of her life. Though the society see them differently (Germain is seen as an idiot who failed school while Margueritte is seen as a genius intellectual), they friendship formed over their afternoon meetings at a park bench, where they discussed the beauty of imagination in the novels that Margueritte reads out loud. \
Germain has been ridiculed all his life for his lack of school smart. Despite his lack of IQ, he is high in EQ...proven by the fact that his neighbors always seek his help in planting gardens, calming down neighbors' fights, or helping his friend talk to a new lady in town. Germain is a slow reader himself, but this is only because his teacher and his mother failed to let him grow intellectually. Thus, this film also has a veiled criticism towards modern educational system where only those who are bright and gifted in math and reading can be considered "intelligent", while a person like Germain was viewed as an "idiot". Nonetheless, this is all proven to be wrong as Margueritte was able to encourage Germain to read more, especially when her eyesight starts failing.
This film is typical of French dramas with a backdrop of French summer where we, as the audience, can enjoy a laidback-paced film without having to rush through an excessive amount of fun, glory, or fantasy like most American dramas released in summer. My afternoons with Margueritte is thus a delightful way to spend your afternoon. Watching Germain and Margueritte plod through a Camus novel is refreshing and it is truly enjoyable to sit back and watch a script unfold as the story steps away from cliché and focus on character and style.