Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Original title: Je Rentre A La Maison
France/Portugal, 2001. Madragoa Filmes, Gemini Films, France 2 Cinema, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Canal+, Instituto do Cinema, Audiovisual e Multimédia, Radiotelevisão Portuguesa. Screenplay and dialogue by Manoel de Oliveira, scenario consultant Jacques Parsi. Cinematography by Sabine Lancelin. Produced by Paulo Branco. Production Design by Yves Fournier. Costume Design by Isabel Branco. Film Editing by Valerie Loiseleux. Cannes Film Festival 2001. Toronto International Film Festival 2001.
Sweet, minor tale about an aging actor (Michel Piccoli) who learns on the night of a high-profile performance that his wife, daughter and son-in-law have been killed in a car accident, leaving him to take care of his grandson. A few years later, he is still unable to continue with his career until lucrative offers from the television and film industry come along to tempt him back to the limelight. However, the compromises they offer are ones he can no longer live with in light of the growing affection he feels for his young charge. Director Manoel de Oliveira lingers too much on some scenes and doesn’t really get a lot of great drama out of the story, but it is natural and honest and the performances are terrific. Features a wonderful appearance by Catherine Deneuve as a stage actor in Piccoli’s show and John Malkovich as a filmmaker who looks to cast Piccoli in his film version of James Joyce’s Ulysses.