The Watchmaker of St. Paul details
|Starring:||Jacques Denis, Jean Rochefort, Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
The Watchmaker of St. Paul
|Run time:||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Rental release:||24 Mar 2008|
Most helpful review
Why did he do it?By a customer from Cirencester, Glos , 15 Feb 2009
[Highly rated reviewer]The plot for this film comes from a Simenon crime novel which Tavernier has adapted and changed from Belgium to his home town of Lyon in France. It is not a 'who done it' but an attempt by a puzzled father to find out why his son killed a factory supervisor.
After he first hears the news he is shell-shocked and only gradually finds out what has been happening as he and his son have lived perfectly amicably together but failed to communicate.
As often in Tavernier's films good and bad appear from unexpected directions and stereotypes are avoided. The investigating inspector is sympathetic and explains this by saying 'we fail to understand out own children, so we make up for it by trying to understand the children of others'.
The film radiates humanity without being either soft or rose-tinted -- bad aspects of life certainly exist, but the main characters are completely human.
A general interview with Tavernier is well worth watching (English dialogue) because it allows him to explain how he started full length film making, and after some general points (you can fast forward if you want) he gets on to discussing this film. And if you really want to take it further, after watching the film you can go back to the beginning and turn on the Director's commentary to find out all the details of making the film.
It is a superb film -- in a gentle sort of way -- and I cannot understand why I have only just found out about him.
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The Watchmaker of St PaulBy gnlincoln (14 reviews) , 01 May 2012Bertrand Tavernier was among the last of the golden group of the French new wave to move from film criticism to film directing. When he did, in 1974, heretically, it was to make a version of a novel by that most mainstream of French authors, Georges Simenon, with a script by Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost, writers of some of the best-known French films of the 1940s and 1950s whose work had been trashed for years by Taverniers colleagues on Cahiers du Cinema. Equally perversely, having chosen one of Simenons least typical novels, written while he lived in the US and set there, Tavernier transposed the setting to his home town of Lyon and chose a light comedian, Jean Rochefort, for one of the dramatic lead roles.
The result is The Watchmaker of St Paul, an accomplished debut by any standard. Phillipe Noiret is the eponymous watchmaker, a middle-aged divorcee whose comfortable bachelor life is suddenly and shockingly undermined by the arrival of a policeman (Rochefort) who tells him that his semi-estranged son is on the run, suspected of murder. From its first moments, as a young child (actually Taverniers daughter) closes a door on a passing train to reveal a burning car by the track side, the film proceeds elliptically as an almost-thriller that is much more interested in the broken relationship between father and son and the sort-of friendship that haltingly develops between father and cop. In the end, there is a choice to be made.
Noiret, as always, is astonishingly sympathetic and Taverniers beloved Lyon becomes a character in its own right. Tavernier made other films with the veteran Aurenche after the death of Bost and has secured his place as one of the great humanist film-makers, more in the line of Jean Renoir than his more cerebral contemporaries.
As a footnote, the watchmaker appears again briefly in a later, equally warm and humane Tavernier film, Une Semaine de Vacances, in which we learn something of what happens after the earlier film ends.
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No mystery in this murder storyBy a customer , 07 Dec 2011
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideNot a lot happens in this well-acted but lightweight drama from France. Phillipe Noiret leads this cast in this story of a watchmaker whose son is arrested for murder. The story is very thin with no twist or sub-plot. A big disappointment
The watchmaker of St.PaulBy nogbad (3 reviews) from SK9 , 15 Aug 2010This is an excellent story, very well produced and most enjoyable. The story line whilst at times a bit slow moving does nevertheless hold the interest. The background shots are excellent and make a significant contribution to the overall enjoyment.
Starts well and then gets stuckBy TEMESIDER (34 reviews) from Ludlow , 10 Jul 2010Nice enough film which has its moments.
The beginning was brilliant, spot on for French society as a group of male friends have lunch and joke together.
However the film loses its way once the plot begins - watchmaker father (the great Philippe Noiret) learns that his son killed someone, and bit by bit realises how little he actually knows his son. Quite often I really didn't know what was supposed to be going on.
Pleasant enough but not great.
Got to watch it againBy gottago (35 reviews) from High Peak , 30 May 2010I watched this on a Friday night, was tired, and the film is quite slow so didn't pay the right amount of attention. The reason for the slow shots on the plane are understandable if you put together all the clues.As one reviewer put it , why did he do it?.....The answer is in there and is quite uplifting.I only realised this however, in retrospect.....My wife fell asleep. 2 reviews for the price of one!!!