Jean De Florette details
|Starring:||Gerard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, Yves Montand, Elisabeth Depardieu|
Jean De Florette
|Run time:||1 hour 56 minutes|
|Rental release:||Limited availability|
Most helpful review
French ConnectionBy a customer from Oxford , 20 Sep 2003
[Highly rated reviewer]The film with the Stella music that is oft quoted as the most popular foreign language film ever made ? and rightly so. Other than Nikita, this is probably the best film to come out of France, and yet it has such an unlikely plot for the success that it reaped. With all the hype surrounding special effects and action movies, people forget that cinema is essentially story telling. This is one reason that some tales have been brought to the screen over and over again. Unless we are interested in the actions or fate of the central character a film will fail to grab a viewer's attention.
This is where Jean de Florette is pre-eminent. It tells a tale. It tells it simply and engages the viewers heart. The film is wonderfully shot in the French countryside with an almost photographic eye for images.
Gerard Depardieu's performance must rank as one of cinema's greatest performances and he is more than ably assisted by Yves Montand and the rest of the cast.
Also worthy of note is the selection of Verdi's The Force of Destiny as the theme music because throughout the film I felt that Destiny, cruel and heartless was driving the story forward.
This is without doubt cinema great and is recommended as a peerless effort in what cinema should be - story telling.
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Tres belleBy Loris (4 reviews) , 28 Aug 2011A beautifully shot, brilliantly acted film with a storyline that draws you in.
I felt extremely frustrated that justice was not delivered to the selfish and greedy characters in this film. It made me want to watch the second part, Manon Des Sources, as soon as possible. Felt much more content with the outcome and ultimate closure of the latter film.
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A Provencal TaleBy insomniac (93 reviews) from Malvern , 05 Aug 2011Jean de Florette, together with its sequel Manon des Sources, is simply one of the best films I have ever seen. From the opening bars of the mesmerising and haunting music (adapted from the overture to Verdis Force of Destiny) to the final credits I was caught up in a modern version of a Greek tragedy.
The story is set in the early 20th Century in the French Provence but it could equally well have taken place in the harsh arid prairies of the American westerns, or the Australian outback anywhere in fact where life is a struggle against the vagaries of nature.
A young family comes to a small, insular rural community in order to take over the farm they have inherited. The locals dislike and distrust them for being outsiders, and for the fact that the man (Gerard Depardieu) is a hunchback. The local grandee (Yves Montand) and his simple-minded nephew resent them in particular; they plan to oust the family from the farm in order to cultivate it themselves. They hatch a deadly plan: to cut off the water source by blocking the spring, thus rendering the farm unusable, and then to buy it at a knock-down price.
OK, this doesnt sound wildly exciting, but thats not the point. The story is a means to an end, a way of dealing with universal and timeless themes. What I find so satisfying is the way you can find layers of meaning underlying what seems at first sight to be a simple tale of innocence, envy and greed. For me, the story represents the struggle between good and evil, between the ever-hopeful generous and trusting Jean, Christlike in his acceptance of suffering (just watch him with his donkey struggling up the hill over and over again in search of water to save his farm and his family) and the sadistic landowner and the indifferent villagers. Only Jeans young daughter Manon suspects the plotters....and that leads on to the second film.
Everything in this film is memorable - the music, the landscape, and above all the powerful performances of the characters. Not a film to be missed!
Really entatainingBy a customer , 04 Aug 2011Excellent truly excellent. Daniel Auteuil is most certainly a loveable rouge.Quite the French epic, I cannot wait for the next enstolment.
Lovely filmBy a customer from Lincolnshire , 11 Mar 2011This is a lovely film set in the beautiful countryside with the music from Stella advert. I loved the storyline and I would highly recommend you watch Manon Des Sources straight after this one for the outcome. This is one that I would watch again even though it is subtitled due to being a french film. Watch it, you won't regret it!
A French PowerhouseBy a customer from Rhos-on-Sea , 20 Feb 2011Deceptively simple story of innocence tainted by one exceptionally evil serpent and another rather stupid one, set in rural splendour. Perfect length, perfect photography, great acting, unbelievably good script, and wonderful direction. A lot more has been written about the Gordon Gekko's of this world amongst other more populist films, but the corrosive power and misery of greed has never been so well done in film. What really constitutes ugliness inside and out has never been bettered. Ultimately, this is so sad it is excruciatingly painful to watch at times and it stays with you forever.