Thursday, June 24, 2010

Le fils de l'épicier (The Grocer's Son)

If you've read this blog before, you know I love movies that offer a slice of life that's outside of my experience.  The Grocer's Son, another great movie from Film Movement, offers just that.  Antione left his home in the French countryside to live in Lyon, but life in the big city has not been kind to him.  Struggling and under-employed, when his mom asks him to come home to help with his father's grocery business, he reluctantly agrees, if nothing else because of a lack of prospects.
Antoine's father, who has had a stroke, runs a grocery business out of a van.  I've never seen anything like this, at least in modern times.  Maybe it's a European thing, or maybe American rural communities have some thing like this.  Antione takes over his route, driving to tiny villages and people's homes around the countryside in southeastern France.  The area is beautiful, the people are quirky, and Antoine is not having fun.  Thankfully his friend Claire came along.  She came to study in the quiet of the country, but decides to come along on Antoine's rounds.  Her charm and friendliness win over customers turned off by the grumpy, impersonal Antoine.

Against this backdrop we see Antoine's relationship with his parents, his brother, with Claire, and ultimately with himself grow and improve.  The Grocer's Son is a simple film, beautifully done.  With her cute face and charming personality, Clotilde Hesme lights up the screen as Claire.  I'd love to see her other movies.

Bottom line, 3 stars

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