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MARIUS AND JEANNETTE

SYNOPSIS:
After a loud confrontation on a building site, Marius (Gerard Meylan) and Jeannette (Ariane Ascaride) start building a tentative relationship, just as Jeannette loses her job as a supermarket cashier. Both have a past (Marius’ not revealed until later) and both have a need, but painful experiences have built emotional scar tissue. Jeannette’s two youngsters take a shine to Marius, and the neighbours – more like a community of ever-arguing friends – have their own complex histories and relationships.

"The fact that the two stars of this film are respectively the director’s wife and his good friend may or may not have helped generate the warm and engaging performances; and the Marseilles setting may or may not have generated the film’s earthiness. But there they are, these ‘elements’ that bind this simple but effective film. It is a love story, certainly, but it is placed in the context of a thriving little community of friends, families and acquaintances, some on the fringe, some in the centre. On one hand, it is the sort of film French audiences have always loved - an intimate look into ordinary people’s lives, as if we had lifted off the roofs of their modest little homes in the lanes and side streets of a provincial town. It is that meticulous attention to the complexities of living that elevates this film; rewarding and endearing, with slightly edgy characterisations, Marius & Jeannette invigorate with their all-too human weaknesses and all-too painful lives. Like all of us, they grasp at the possibilities that life offers. It is never sentimental and often very amusing. No wonder it has won awards and fans, including a favoured status in the 1998 Sydney Film Festival as one of the top five films in the program."
Andrew L. Urban

"Marius and Jeannette is an unexpected pleasure, and much more than a contrived romantic saga. This truly special little film is about middle-aged love, sexual and Marxist politics, the working-class in all its glory, and Marseilles, the epitome of the class so meticulously created here. Here is a carefully layered and at times abrasively funny look at the lives of the neighbours who inhabit this French town. With a magnificent soundtrack that is used to heighten the film's often idyllic sense of romanticism, this is a wonderfully human romantic comedy with added ingredients that sets it apart from the norm. It's a masterful, lyrical and eloquent piece that only the French can deliver with such sublime perfection."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

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SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

MARIUS & JEANNETTE (M 15+)
(France)

CAST: Ariane Ascaride, Gerard Meylan, Pascale Ropberts, Jacques Boudet, Frederique Bonnal, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Laetitia Pesenti

DIRECTOR: Robert Guediguian

PRODUCER: Gilles Sandoz

SCRIPT: Robert Guediguian, Jean-Louis Milesi

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bernard Cavalie

EDITOR: Bernard Sasia

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Gil Scrine Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: December 10, 1998 (exclusive season at Valhalla, Glebe, Sydney)

Awards: Ariane Ascaride - Best Actress, 1998 Cesar Awards

VIDEO RELEASE: January 20, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Siren







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