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(A&F thread for Of Gods and Men (2010).) Linda Marric, HeyUGuys.com: “Director Xavier Beauvois (Of Gods and Men, 2010) is back again with a beautifully crafted production which tells the story of the women left behind in rural France after the of the majority of men of fighting-age were conscripted to fight in WWI. The Guardians (Les Gardiennes), takes a contemplative, slow paced look at the great war from the perspective of those whose stories are seldom told. Cannes Grand Prix winner Beauvois, offers a simply told and beautifully conveyed account of the devastating events which will eventually lead the way to the emancipation of women throughout Europe. Basing most of the action away from the battle ground, the director offers an alternative war movie, one where the fight takes place at home rather than on the battle field. Adapted from Ernest Perochon’s 1944 novel, The Guardians spans two years in the lives of the women who inhabit Le Paridier, a family owned working farm run by Hortense (Natalie Baye), a resilient matriarch trying to make ends meet in the absence of her two sons and husband. While her daughter Solange (Laura Smet) does her part in running the farm in the absence of husband Clovis (Olivier Rabourdin), Hortence has to also make do without her school teacher son Constant (Nicolas Giraud), and his younger brother George (Cyril Descours) … With long mournful scenes and slow meandering shots, the director forgoes the need for artifice in favour of natural storytelling and beautifully sedate exchanges between his characters. Baye is magnificent as Hortence, her quiet resolve and resilience are depicted with huge expertise and panache. The Guardians is a stunning production, which while not being entirely without fault, still manages to thrill and move its audience beyond all expectation. Beauvois is faultless in his ability to recreate the past, down to the last thread of every costume and every piece of equipment used on the farm. A genuinely astounding piece of filmmaking which is as beautiful as it is essential.”
Greg Wolfe just emailed me with this link to a story about Cannes entry that should be worth a look when it's available: Hmmm. Would people have been more likely to sit through Into Great Silence to the end if they'd known that the monks would be captured and taken away?
Link to our thread on Of Gods and Men (2010). - - - 'Of Gods and Men' helmer set for 'Gloire' MADRID -- France's Xavier Beauvois, helmer of hit "Of Gods and Men," is set to follow up with "La Rancon de la gloire," his first venture into comedy. . . . Currently being written with "Gods" co-scribe Etienne Comar, "Gloire," a quirky heist comedy in the vein of Ken Loach's "The Angels' Share," is set in Switzerland in 1977. It turns on two men who, in straightened circumstances over Christmas, hatch a hair-brained scheme to kidnap the coffin of Charles Chaplin, who died on Christmas Day in 1977, and extort money from his family. Roschdy Zem, who shared best actor at Cannes for "Days of Glory," and Benoit Poelvoorde ("Coco Before Chanel"), co-star. . . . "Gloire" is inspired by a true-life incident, in which two unemployed mechanics dug up Chaplin's coffin and attempted to extract a ransom from his widow, Oona Chaplin. . . . Variety, December 18
I recently noticed (M)Leary viewed this movie. I saw this many years ago and believe it is quite possibly the best movie I have ever seen dealing with the death of a loved one. Specifically, the quiet agony a child endures at the loss of their parents; one parent to death and the other to the overwhelming emotion of grief. Being the father of a 9 1/2 month old little boy I have had the pleasure of watching him grow and develop a relationship with his mom. Watching this bond grow has given me a different sense of the emotional turmoil a child would go through at this loss. The tie a child has with their mother is moving, beyond amazement!! Victoire Thivisol provides a stirring performance as 4-year-old Ponette. If any child actor ever deserved an Academy Award it would be her in this role. She carries the film beautifully. The Cinematographer provides visuals to express Ponette's loss, loneliness and adjustment perfectly. Gorgeously lit with a soft focus. Interested in hearing other thoughts.