DVD review: The Grocer’s Son (1997)

16 Jan

dir. Eric Guirado 99m. Subtitles.
Nicolas Cazale, Clotilde Hesme, Stephan Guerin-Tillie, Sforza Jeanna Goupil, Daniel Duval, Paul Crauchet, Liliane Rovere.

Le fils de l’épicier est un film français avec du charme qui…oh, hang on, I’d better continue this review in English in case some readers think I’ve gone all pretentious, moi? 

If you’re looking for a fairly undemanding, yet pleasant little film then THE GROCER’S SON well and truly fits the bill.  

Working as a waiter in Paris Antoine (Nicolas Cazale) is reunited with his estranged father after dad suffers a health scare, and he’s persuaded to move back to the delightful Provence countryside to take care of the family grocery store. Reluctantly he drives the family’s mobile grocery van around the picturesque area, regularly stopping to replenish the larders of the mainly aging population, most of whom are played by real people, not professional actors, and who rely on the van for their weekly food supplies.

With sometime girlfriend Claire (Clotilde Hesme) in tow he gradually loosens up, paints the van, befriends a feisty battleaxe, mends a local’s chicken coop, and discovers some home truths on the way to becoming a better person. And yes, he reconciles with his dad.

OK, no surprises here, but the journey is enjoyable, and apart from a sub plot involving his brother’s marriage break up, it’s a fairly light and frothy trip. 

C’est un film agreeable! 

MIKE CHILDS  

DVD Extras: The subtitled Madman DVD release contains deleted scenes (with an illuminating commentary from director Eric Guirado on the reasons, mainly pacing, on why they were removed from the finished film), a few boring out-takes, and the original theatrical trailer.  

—> Paul Byrnes review in the Sydney Morning Herald (****) {link}

—> Margerat Pomeranz and David Stratton review on ABC (*** & ***1/2) {link}

—> Australian distributors Madman (Contains trailer which, bizarelly, is blocked on youtube by Film Movement – Why would you do that?) link

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