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The Grocer's Son
The Grocer's Son
Actors: Nicolas Cazale, Clotilde Hesme, Jeanne Goupil, Daniel Duval, Liliane Rovere
Director: Eric Guirado
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2009     1hr 36min

It is summer, and thirty-year-old Antoine is forced to leave the city to return to his family in Provence. His father is sick, so he must assume the lifestyle he thought he had shed driving the family grocery cart from ham...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Nicolas Cazale, Clotilde Hesme, Jeanne Goupil, Daniel Duval, Liliane Rovere
Director: Eric Guirado
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: Film Movement
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/06/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French

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Movie Reviews

Alimentation Generale: Épicier Volante!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Le Fils de l'épicier (The Grocer's Son) is one of the loveliest films of the year. Written (with Florence Vignon) and directed by Eric Guirado, this little taste of French life is as refreshing as the fruits and vegetables on the traveling grocery van that is a focal point of the story. Though at first glance it appears to be a simple tale of a son begrudgingly taking over his invalid father's business, Guirado has embroidered this story with so many warm details that the film begs to be seen again and again to make sure nothing has been missed.

Antoine Sforza (the gifted and handsome young actor Nicolas Cazalé) is a thirty something young waiter, unable to find satisfaction in his various jobs he opted for when he left his home ten years ago: his relationship with his father was strained and Antoine did not care to 'waste' his life in a village as an grocer (épicier). He has a 'girlfriend' Claire (Clotilde Hesme) who is trying to save money to go to Spain to study, and when his father (Daniel Duval) is hospitalized with a heart attack, he begrudgingly agrees to return home - with the proviso that his mother lend him money that he in turn gives to Claire so that she can complete her dream of studying in Spain. Antoine's brother François (Stéphan Guérin-Tillié) owns a beauty salon and, despite the family's concept that he is the stable one, has troubles of his own. Antoine's mother (Jeanne Goupil) is desperate for help: she has managed to run the little store in the village, but a major source of income has come from the van the father drives through the countryside, selling groceries to the old folks. Antoine is encouraged by Claire to take over the van and even helps Antoine paint the van with rainbow colors to become the 'Épicier Volante'. In time Antoine's brusque and distant personality is affected by the warmly humorous and significantly needy yet friendly old folks. He makes friends and extends himself as never before.

Claire wins her audition for Spain, the father is released form the hospital, François' life falls apart, and Antoine feels he must pay back his mother and move on. But the bonds between the changed Antoine and his family as well as his deep attachments to the old folks convince him to alter his plan for his life.

Many of the 'old folks' are cast from villagers who Guirado met while scouting for his film and these 'actors', together with some very fine character actors such as Liliane Rovère, give the film a feeling of authenticity. The scenery is gorgeous, the music is apropos, and the performances by the lead members of the cast are superb. This is a film to treasure - repeatedly. Highest Recommendation. Grady Harp, July 08"
Soundtrack info
anyonymous | America | 09/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"the song at the end of the film is "Waterfall" by the icelandic band Without Gravity, available on their album Tenderfoot or you can buy the soundtrack to this fantastic film, which includes the song, at
One of the best films of the year.
Ron | Berkeley, CA USA | 09/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's been a while since I saw a French film that I really liked. I think the last one was LES VOLLEURS that starred Catherine Deneuve and Daniel Auteuil. There was a time when France used to make brilliant films, one right after the other. This was called the French New Wave that consisted of Truffaut, Goddard, Rohmer, etc. Well, I'm happy to report that THE GROCER'S SON is every bit as good as anything that came out of the French New Wave. Actually, it reminded me more of a Rohmer film: a character study. It's a very observant and perceptive film on growing up: when someone stops thinking about themselves and appreciates other people. The relationship between Antoine and Claire exemplifies this point. Antoine is clearly only thinking about himself when he decides not to mail Claire's academic papers. Eventually, he takes on life's responsibilities (he decides not to quit his job as a grocer) and starts thinking about other people (his customers). Highly recommended."
A fine film! Not a single exploding car or gruesome crime!
Donald M. Bishop | Virginia | 02/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Grocer's Son" tells a quiet story. Young Antoine (Nicolas Cazale) returns from Paris to his home town in Provence to tend his parents' small store while his father recovers from a heart attack. His friend Claire (Clotilde Hasme) comes along. His parents' family business includes an old van that makes the round of local crossroads, selling groceries mostly to the elderly. So Antoine begins making the daily rounds.

The photography of the Provence countryside is wonderful. The village scenes and the elderly actors give a viewer an agreeable glimpse of another country and society. There's French languor and mood music. The film's low key and slow pace help focus on the characters and how they change in the course of the film -- as Antoine, whose life in Paris had been unsuccessful, comes back into the ties of family and community which he had once rejected.

As we see from other relationships in the film (Antoine's brother, or his high school friend who runs the local garage), though, ties that bind can also be ties that burden. Willingness to accept the burdens is an important milestone in life.

"The Grocer's Son" harks back to the story of the Prodigal Son, set in a different place and time. When so many movies feature exploding cars, robots or aliens, or stomach-turning crimes, "The Grocer's Son" provides a welcome change of pace.