Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Manon of the Spring|
Actors: Yves Montand, Emmanuelle Béart, Daniel Auteuil, Hippolyte Girardot, Margarita Lozano
Director: Claude Berri
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Movie description — This sequel to 1986's JEAN DE FLORETTE stars Emmanuelle Beart as Manon (the daughter of JEAN DE FLORETTE's protagonist). Manon has grown up to become a beautiful woman, a shy and resourceful shepherdess ... more »
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Bruce Kendall | Southern Pines, NC | 02/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the all time "perfect" movies in so many respects. It ties in all the unresolved issues of Jean de Florette. It portrays humanity in a near all-encompassing microcosm. Evil, good, grey, and all gradations in between in a simple provincial village in France circa who knows when? It's universal. We don't have to trouble ourselves about dates. It could be yesterday. It could have happened a century hence. Consummate film making in every aspect. Cinematography, sweeping. Acting, uniformly brilliant. Direction? Masterful. Script? Not many better. Buy this classic and it's predecessor and prepare to be swept away.
Simply a great film
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 08/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is just as good or even better that it predecessor, Jean de Florette (1986). It is amazing how well thought out the story is. Like a Greek tragedy, everything falls into place, everything is accounted for as fate conspires with character to bring about retribution for those who did wrong. We feel sad and sorry for Papet and Ugolin, whose weaknesses and "crimes" are so like our own.
Daniel Auteuil, who plays Ugolin, is a actor with great range and sensitivity. He is unforgettable here as a not-too-bright peasant who suffers an excruciating and hopeless case of unrequited love. And Yves Montand, who plays his uncle is flawless, like an Olivier, as he experiences a very cruel turn of fate. Emmanuelle Béart, who plays Manon, is very beautiful, but she is also strange enough to be believable in an unlikely role as a solitary shepherdess of the hills of Provence.
Claude Berri's direction is so perfectly paced, so full of attention to detail and so unobtrusive and natural that the film just seems to happen without effort. Nothing fancy, just show what needs to be seen, no more. Use no more words than necessary, but all that are necessary. It's almost like magic, how easy it looks. The scene near the end when the blind woman reveals the cruel turn of fate to Papet is exquisite in its simplicity and its effectiveness.
In a sense this movie is a throw back an earlier era in cinema when careful attention to the construction of a character-driven story was the essence of the art."
Dianne Foster | USA | 11/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh this is a beautiful film, shot in Provence, with the absolutely lovely Emmanuelle Beart playing Manon of the title role, and her husband Daniel Auteuil playing the opposing lead. Manon de Florette is the grown daughter of JEAN DE FLORETTE. To follow the storyline and understand Manon's actions, you must see part one of this two-part story.In part two, Manon has become a "shepardess" who lives with her goats on the hillsides in Provence. When we first see her, she garbed in a quaint shepherdess costume Marie Antoinette would have envied, and tinkling through the brushes with her herd. Auteuil, the young cousin of Jean de Florette sees her and realizes he has fallen in love with the adult Manon whom he first met in JEAN DE FLORETTE. One day, owing to someting Manon does, a handsome stranger comes to the village. Auteuil's chances with the beautiful Manon are dimmed by the arrival of this handsome young man who also falls in love with Manon. Beart is so beautiful it's hard to imagine why all the young men in the village aren't in love with her.However, other obstacles exist for Auteuil. I cannot say much more without giving away the storyline, but it has to do with an unresolved issue set up in the first part of the story told in the film JEAN DE FLORETTE. Let's just say it has to do with water, thus the title, MANON OF THE SPRING.JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON are wonderful films, and although the latter film is the better one, you cannot understand the latter without the former. Storyline aside, if you love Provence, then these films will appeal to you. It is hard not to feel the sunlight on your cheeks and smell the wild Thyme, Fennel, Rosmary and other herbs growing on the hillsides where Manon and her goats wander."
Completes one of the greatest film stories of recent decades
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 06/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MANON OF THE SPRING completes the story that began in JEAN DE FLORETTE. It is not a sequel; it is the second half of a single tale. Although the first film can be watched independently of the first, neither really stands completely on its own.The second film takes place several years after the first, and centers on two of the characters from the first film--Le Papet played by Yves Montand and Ugolin played by Daniel Auteuil--as well as a young girl who is now living on the land upon which Jean de Florette lived in the first. The girl named Manon and played by the exquisitely beautiful Emmanuelle Béart, turns out to be the daughter of Jean de Florette. Ugolin, observing her, falls hopelessly in love with us, yearning for her in a manner so desperate and passionate that you sense immediately the impossibility of its being fulfilled. The film deals with her resolve to wreck her revenge on those responsible for the death of her father.What she doesn't realize is the possibility of an even more potent revenge that lies beyond her control, but which arises near the end of the film. The two films are great without the last half hour of the film, but it is the last half hour that makes the two-film sequence a truly magnificent masterpiece. We find near the end revelations that make the story that the two films tell almost impossibly tragic. I can say no more than this without giving away key elements of the plot.The two films are both quite superb in the picture they paint of rural France. The idyllic beauty of the countryside belies the hidden blackness in the hearts of many of the characters. Yves Montand's character, especially, displays the karma attaching to a petty, mean-spirited viciousness. If the first film belonged to Gérard Depardieu, the second one, and as it were retrospectively both films, to Yves Montand. Although Montand made a few more films before his death, this was far and away the greatest thing he did in his last years, and in a way stands as the last great achievement in a grand career. I'm not certain he was ever better than in the last half hour of this great film.I cannot urge strongly enough for anyone who loves movies to see these two films. Even those who do not normally enjoy foreign films with love these. The story told is too grand, and the performances too stellar, not to adore them."