20 November 2013 | JLRMovieReviews
France in All Its Beautiful Glory!
Awarding-winning actor Daniel Auteuil made his directorial debut, remaking this story of The Well-Digger's Daughter, set in a small countryside village of France just before a war. I'm not sure, but I think it's WWII. He is the well-digger and he has a late teens/young-20ish daughter who is the apple of his eye. Daniel's partner in well-digging likes her very much, despite the age difference. The plot thickens when she makes an instant liking to a boy, of her own age, when he helps her across a river. They don't know who each other are, but he figures out who she is before she him. He's the son of the rich shopkeeper. The boy volunteers for the war effort, and the obvious events happen to the young girl only after he's gone. In fact, this plays out very predictably like a Hallmark movie and the setting could very well be any small town in early 20th century America with its small town thinking, like The Magic of Ordinary Days, which I loved by the way. The plot may be predictable, but what makes this film stand out is the director's obvious love of the time, the place and story. The people are real. The landscape is beautiful. The mood and laid-back treatment is right on track to make this otherwise average film a very moving experience and love story.