Tous les Matins du Monde Movie Review
Specifically, Mornings is the story of two composers, Sainte Colombe (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and his protege, Marin Marais (played by Gérard Depardieu as an older man and by his son Guillaume Depardieu for the bulk of the film). Sainte Colombe quickly earns a reputation as a master musician -- adding a seventh string to the viol, for example -- but his shunning of the king even more quickly earns him a place in rural exile. As Colobe's wife has died, he's dedicated himself to his hermitage, and more importantly his music.
He raises two daughters (Anne Brochet and the luminous, underused Carole Richert) and alienates high society. Yet he is clearly the greatest of his kind. A young Marais seeks him out, begs him to take him on as a pupil, and eventually studies under him before impregnating the older daughter and getting run out of the house. Marais takes a job in the king's court, Colombe keeps on keepin' on. And yet Marais feels he has never quite attained the mastery that Colombe has. He's obsessed, and he spends years eavesdropping on Colombe's cabin as he waits for him to play one of his treasured, unwritten compositions. Comparisons to Amadeus are obvious but not quite apt. Mornings is a more soulful and sadder film, and of course it's not about jealousy but rather love.
This is complicated storytelling, yet Mornings isn't a complicated film. Director Alain Corneau has a laserlike focus on the plot he's exploring, mainly the relationship between the elder Colombe and the naive, headstrong Marais. When Colombe finds out Marais has been moonlighting in court, he smashes his viol and gives Marais a pouch of gold so he can buy a "circus horse," which he feels will be better suited to entertaining royalty. This is the ultimate betrayal, and as absurd and irrational as his actions are, we always understand and sympathize with Colombe throughout.
The story and acting are totally solid, but then of course there's the music, drawn from both men's compositions. (Did I mention this is based on a true story?) If you're a fan of classical, you'll love the depth and richness of the soundtrack. If you're not, Mornings just might convert you.
Amazing stuff. Highly recommended.
Now available on a two-disc DVD set, the film includes an extensive documentary and interviews about the making of the film.
Aka All the Mornings of the World.