you love beautiful, well-observed
be delighted by The Well-
a tragic, funny and
thoroughly watchable French romance
starring one of Frances most iconic
stars, on his directorial debut...
A SURPRISING AND ENCHANTING FILM, The Well-Digger's
Daughter (La Fille du Pursatier) is a love story set just before and during
the Second World War and has an amazing cast that portrays totally credible
and interesting characters with ease.
Based on Marcel Pagnol's classic 1940 film of the same name, The Well-Digger's
Daughter stars the brilliant Daniel Auteuil (Hidden; 36) as the well-digger
Pascal Amoretti, turning his role into a living person with whom you can totally
empathise. Daniel Auteuil is also making his directorial debut and under his
care this film is irresistible.
Pascal's daughter Patricia (the charming Astrid Bergès-Frisbey: Pirates Of
The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) is his pride and joy. On her eighteenth
birthday, a fine Spring day in pre-war Provence, she carries her father's lunch
to where he is digging a new well with his friend Félipe Rambert (Kad Merad).
While crossing a stream she encounters the handsome Jacques Mazel (Nicolas Duvauchelle),
the motorbike-riding son of wealthy parents.
Although she is attracted to Jacques, Patricia turns down his offer to meet
her later; but inevitably the two are drawn together and it looks as if Jacques
is only after his next conquest.
Pascal has six daughters but adores Patricia, who spent some time away from
the family in Paris being educated by a childless widow, and describes her as
"a treasure from the good Lord". He is afraid that one day she will marry and
go away and when he voices his fears, Félipe expresses a desire to marry her.
Unfortunately for him, Patricia is now in love with Jacques; however, one of
her sisters is already casting eyes in Félipe's direction. Félipe takes Patricia
to the local air show where Jacques is performing as a stunt pilot and introduces
them, unaware that they have already met. An incident pushes Patricia and Jacques
together and they become closer, but misunderstanding and tragedy await them.
Jacques has agreed to meet Patricia at Saint Julien's Chapel, but without warning
he is sent away to test a new plane in South Africa and from there to the front
line as war breaks out. He sends Patricia a message with his mother (Sabine
Azéma), who burns it, and Patricia believes she has been abandoned.
She discovers she is expecting a child and confesses to her father. Pascal's
love for his daughter is overridden by a strong sense of family honour and he
confronts André Mazel (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) and his wife but they
refuse to believe the child is Jacques' and accuse the Amorettis of trying to
blackmail them. The proud Pascal then sends his daughter to live with her aunt
Nathalie (Marie-Anne Chazel), washing his hands of her, to the devastation of
The months pass and Patricia gives birth to a son, whom she calls Amoretti (played
by Zachary Aueteuil, Daniel Aueteuil's own son). By now Jacques has been declared
missing in action and presumed dead and his parents are desperate to see Patricia's
child, as he is a link to their only son…
The Well-Digger's Daughter is a delightful, poignant, amusing and highly
watchable film with a superb dialogue and easy-to-read English subtitles. Echoing
the beauty and charm of Auteuil's early films such as Jean De Florette, it is
a fitting directorial debut for one of French cinema's true powerhouses and
a must-see for Francophiles everywhere.
The film also features: Emilie Cazenave as Amanda; Celine Bosso as Isabelle;
Brune Coustellier as Léonore; Chloé Malarde as Marie; and Ilona Porte as Roberte.
Original Music is by Alexandre Desplat; Costumes Designed by Pierre-Yves Gayraud;
Cinematography by Jean-Francois Robin (Director Of Photography); and the Producer
is Alain Sarde.
Described as a beautiful and timeless tale of love, loss and regret, The
Well-Digger's Daughter is available on DVD from 20 February, courtesy of
Pathé Productions Ltd. Running Time: 107 Minutes | RRP: £19.99.
"The Well-Digger's Daughter is a delightful, poignant, amusing and highly-watchable
film with a superb dialogue... Irresistible" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
Defining Quote of the Movie Pascal: "A motorbike doesn't look
much but it can carry off a family's happiness."