Then we remember that he has also recently played vicious, mercurial gangsters.
On the other hand, this is a beautiful depiction of a simple man who is beginning to understand his own complexities as well as some deep truths about those around him. Without ever being flashy, it's an impeccably pure performance. And the supporting cast members interact with him using raw humour and lively energy.
In many ways the film feels like a refreshing slap in the face, jolting us out of the hypnosis induced by bland Hollywood movies. The film simply feels alive to the possibilities around it, unafraid to be cute or heartbreakingly sweet but never becoming remotely sentimental. Filmmaker Becker clearly knows that life is made up of moments that are hilarious and earthy and sometimes painful.
And that sometimes it's the difficult things that teach us the most.
Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5
Director: Jean Becker
Producer: Louis Becker
Screenwriter: Jean Becker, Jean-Loup Dabadie
Starring: Gérard Depardieu as Germain, Maurane as Francine, Gisèle Casadesus as Margueritte, Jean-François Stévenin as Jojo, Patrick Bouchitey as Landremont, François-Xavier Demaison as Gardini, Claire Maurier as La mère, Sophie Guillemin as Annette, Anne Le Guernec as La mère jeune, Mélanie Bernier as Stéphanie, Régis Laspalès as Monsieur Bayle, Jérôme Deschamps as Le maire, Matthieu Dahan as Julien, Bruno Ricci as Marco, Lyes Salem as Youssef, Jean-Luc Porraz as Le notaire, Gilles Detroit as Dévallée, Florian Yven as Germain enfant
Also starring: Gerard Depardieu