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My Afternoons with Margueritte, Movie

My Afternoons with Margueritte (La tête en friche) 2010

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Comedy set in  provincial France starring Gerard Depardieu. From French filmmaker Jean Becker (Conversations with My Gardener, Elisa). More

Germain (Depardieu) is a semiliterate 50-something whose home is a trailer on his mother's front lawn. Despite their poisonous relationship and being the butt of jokes, Germain finds comfort in tending to his vegetable patch, carving wood figurines, or feeding the pigeons in the local park. It’s in the park he meets Margueritte (Gisèle Casadesus), a sweet elderly lady who charms Germain with her zest for life and her love for literature. He begins to see life anew with the great French novels that she reads to him. Hide

101 votes / 4 comments The Talk

  • 21 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • Ed-Flicks

      Gerard Depardieu has actually turned into Obelix.

    • Skipperlee

      Lol...he has too! Now how am I meant to watch it without thinking "obelix" ?

    • Dan

      Gerard Depardieu!!! Baguettes, fromage, oh la la!

    • C. S. Lewis

      I write way better stuff.

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Flicks.co.nz Review

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Flicks Writer

Featuring an array of idiosyncratic and engaging characters, My Afternoons with Margueritte is a charming snippet of life in a French town. Gérard Depardieu plays Germain, a giant who lumbers through life, all too aware that everyone is laughing at his foibles. Possessed of a mother more malignant than maternal, Germain is hopelessly insecure. His life is transformed when he encounters Margueritte (97-year-old Gisèle Casadesus). A dainty lady with a mania for florals, Margueritte is the antithesis of the scarcely literate Germain. More

Predictably, they strike up an unlikely friendship, although sound acting saves the film from clichéd territory. The rapport between Margueritte and Gérard is compelling and their conversations are a joy to watch. At its heart, the film is an ode to the magic of the written word – Margueritte shares her favourite books with Gérard, amusingly lingering on gruesome descriptions from Camus’ La Peste (think armies of rats). Depardieu cements his reputation as a strong character actor, offering a nuanced performance of a battered, but not broken, Quasimodo.

Poetry and cloying music unfortunately give a shot of sentimentalism to the film’s final moments. Furthermore, Gérard’s romance with the young and blonde Annette (Sophie Guillemin) is too underdeveloped to convince as a Beauty and the Beast scenario. Lacking in depth, My Afternoons with Margueritte is redeemed by its refreshing lightness, succeeding as a very sweet and unobtrusive comedy. Hide

The People's Reviews

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1 ratings and 2 reviews

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Loved this movie

Deb Flicks Superstar (?)

How does a fat ugly man in his 50s manage to be soooooooo sexy even when he is playing a semi unemployed guy living in a caravan on his mothers front lawn? This movie is really special.

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Not bad

freshdude Flicks Superstar (?)

It was ok. The acting was good and it does have some good messages ... but it was just too sweet for my liking, but that's just me. Most people do love that sweetness, and I might have enjoyed it more if I had not just watched THE BIG PICTURE (another French film on our NZ screens at present); but it simply felt too light for me ... I should have kept that one for a Sunday outing with grandma, she definitely loved it.

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Press Reviews

84% of critics recommend

Consensus: "It's sentimental and treacly, but that's not enough to prevent My Afternoons with Margueritte from being truly affecting."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Empire (UK)

Charming slice of small-town France. Full review.

Guardian (UK)

You really will need a sweet tooth for this one. Or rather, you will need a complete set of dentures made out of Mars Bars and Creme Eggs. Full review.

Little White Lies (UK)

A saccharine prose poem over the closing credits underlines the nausea. Full review.

Total Film (UK)

Only the French could get away with such an old-fashioned charmer. Full review.

Urban Cinefile (Australia)

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Full review.

Variety (USA)

French feel-good filmmaking to the max. Yet a heaping pile of cliches doesn't prevent this touchingly simplistic tale -- from exuding a strong and universal emotional appeal. Full review.