My Father’s Glory (La gloire de mon père)
Release Year: 1990
Director: Yves Robert
Writers: Philippe Caubère, Nathalie Caussel, Didier Pain, Thérèse Liotard, Julien Ciamaca, Victorien Delamare, Paul Crauchet, Pierre Joris Molinas,
In turn of the century France, Marcel worships his father, a socialist school teacher, who often argues with his conservative and Catholic uncle Jules. Yet the two families enjoy each other’s company, and they spend a magical Summer holiday together in rural Provence, where Marcel learns a thing or two about life and comes to view his father differently.
My Father’s Glory is the first of two films based on Marcel Pagnol’s poetical novel inspired by his own childhood. The first film focuses of Marcel’s earliest years and his relationship with his father, whom he adores. When his uncle Jules, a man in many ways the opposite of his father, enters the family, the two become competitors in Marcel’s mind, culminating in a fateful hunt in countryside. It is the sort of story in which not a lot happens plotwise, yet much happens to our main character. It is a rather beautiful story about that earliest loss of childhood innocence as a child first understand something about the workings of adulthood and comes to realize that one’s parents are not perfect. All of this is told in charming and atmospheric surroundings, with the slow and meditative pace of a warm Summer’s day. The characters are all really wonderful, complex and flawed, yet lovable – each in their own way. Caubère (Les enfants du soleil, 1995) is absolutely great as the father Joseph, Didier Pain (Les visiteurs, 1993) ditto as Uncle Jules. Caussel and Liotard are also wonderful as the two wifes and sisters, who are very different, and love two very different men, but are the glue that holds the family together in love. Too slow for some perhaps, but really magical, and a good family movie. Highly recommended!
Julien Giamaca, who played Marcel at age 11 in the film, has only appeared this film and its sequel Le château de ma mère (1990).