Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
France, 2005. GMT Productions, Novo Arturo Films, DD Productions, TF1 Films Production, Pathé, Canal+, Région Provence Côte d’Azur. Screenplay by Philippe Lopes-Curval, based on the play by Rene Fauchois. Cinematography by Gerard Simon. Produced by Jean-Pierre Guérin, Veronique Marchat. Music by Edouard Dubois. Production Design by Jean-Louis Poveda. Costume Design by Martine Rapin. Film Editing by Catherine Kelber.
While hitting on his office assistant in the front seat of his car by a canal, a financially strapped art gallery owner (Gerard Jugnot, who also directs) sees a homeless man (Gerard Depardieu) throw himself into the water and saves him. Taking the vagrant home, Jugnot is coerced into taking care of the man and watching as he charms Jugnot’s unresponsive wife (Catherine Frot) back to an alert delight for life. This remake of Jean Renoir’s Boudu Saved From Drowning (which was adapted as Down And Out In Beverly Hills in 1986) isn’t stellar despite the exceptional cast; Depardieu has all his charisma on display and Frot steals her every single scene with her magnificent performance, but the story never reaches very far past its second act. One keeps waiting for more to happen and it never does, nor is it particularly charming or emotionally inspiring.