Sunday, July 22, 2012

Movie with Abe: The Well-Digger’s Daughter (Capsule Review)

The Well-Digger’s Daughter
Directed by Daniel Auteil
Released July 20, 2012

There’s nothing like a good period drama. This French film, from actor Daniel Auteil, probably best known in the United States for starring in Michael Haneke’s unsettling 2005 film “Caché,” chronicles the life of a hard-working well-digger and his daughter in France on the eve of World War II. Auteil plays the part of the Pascal, the well-meaning well-digger whose sense of right and wrong comes into question when his daughter’s life takes an unexpected turn. Auteil is terrific, as is Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, who was a siren in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” as the titular character. Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Sabine Azéma, Nicolas Duvauchelle, and especially the delightful Kad Merad contribute to a stellar ensemble that help elevate this film from simple love story to an enchanting and moving dramatization of France in the 1940s. The costumes are beautiful and the scenery is mesmerizing, and though those that don’t like subtitles or traveling back to the past may not be amused, others are such to be taken in by its strong storytelling and filmmaking.


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