20 October 2014 | dbdumonteil
Bogged down in a resinous situation
The main asset of the movie is its location: the Landes ,in South-west France.
A Young widow (Marie Gillain) wants to carry on with her husband's work:managing a pine plantation where they extract resin;but most of all,she wants to have electricity installed in her valuable property.In this place,it seems that 1789 never happened and that time stood still:her workers,circa 1920,do not receive any salary and ,like the peasants in the middle ages,have to bring their production to their landlady.
But her progressive ideas come up against men still remembering WW1 and against her peers ,a bourgeois relative and other macho.Her foreman ,first bewildered ,is finally won over by his boss' resilience and strength of character.For her own good,the Young heiress is too ahead of her time.
The director makes the best of the beautiful landscape;he casts Miou-Miou (who proves she can age gracefully;I was not exactly his fan at the time of "going places " (Les valseuses,1975))against type,as a middle-age modest brunette,and the mischievous Tsilla -Tatie Danielle- Chelton as an old dowager,warning the ingénue about the man's man's business world.
For all that,the movie does not really grab the viewer;it's too short and marred by a derivative ending;as a social comment,it fails totally to convince;as a psychological drama,it's a routine affair.