The Well-Digger's Daughter

( 1 )

Overview

A bitter class war erupts between two families after the daughter of a humble well digger is impregnated by the son of a wealthy shopkeeper. Aging widower Pascal Amoretti Daniel Auteuil works hard to provide for his six daughters. As the first shots of World War I are fired, his eldest daughter Patricia Astrid Bergés-Frisbey returns home from Paris to help raise her younger siblings. Meanwhile, Pascal wants to see Patricia marry his longtime assistant Felipe Kad Merad, a hard worker who would make a loving ...
See more details below
Blu-ray (Subtitled)
$17.49
BN.com price
(Save 50%)$34.99 List Price
Other sellers (Blu-ray)
  • All (3) from $20.66   
  • New (3) from $20.66   

Overview

A bitter class war erupts between two families after the daughter of a humble well digger is impregnated by the son of a wealthy shopkeeper. Aging widower Pascal Amoretti Daniel Auteuil works hard to provide for his six daughters. As the first shots of World War I are fired, his eldest daughter Patricia Astrid Bergés-Frisbey returns home from Paris to help raise her younger siblings. Meanwhile, Pascal wants to see Patricia marry his longtime assistant Felipe Kad Merad, a hard worker who would make a loving husband. But shortly after arriving back home, Patricia has a fling with Jacques Mazel Nicolas Duvauchelle, a fighter pilot from a wealthy family, who then disappears to the front lines after getting Patricia pregnant. At first, the Mazels are furious, accusing the impoverished Amorettis of using the situation to stake a claim on their fortune. When Jacques goes missing in action, however, the Mazels quickly realize that Patricia's unborn child may be their only link to the son who sacrificed his life fighting for their country.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Trailers Stills Gallery
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
In the mid-1980s, two French dramas, Jean de Florette and its sequel, Manon of the Spring, took the film world by storm and swept up numerous Césars. Adaptations of one giant seminal novel by French writer/director
ovelist Marcel Pagnol, the sagas wove an epic tale of greed, betrayal, and family loyalty in rural France. The Well-Digger's Daughter comes billed as a follow-up to those two earlier classics, and will invite innumerable comparisons, for it has some of the same pedigree. Adapted from another Pagnol work -- this one an original screenplay that he wrote and directed in 1940 -- it was helmed by, scripted by, and stars the talented Daniel Auteuil, one of the leads in Jean and Manon. And like the prior films, this one unfolds in Southern Gaul in the first part of the 20th century and seems dominated by passionate, ardent emotions; it might just as easily be retitled "Cousin de Florette." Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey stars as Patricia Amoretti, the 18-year-old daughter of well-digger Pascal Auteuil. A naïve virgin with a complicated past -- her father shuttled her off to live with a foster mother for many years, following her mother's death -- this innocent waif soon catches the eye of Jacques Mazel Nicolas Duvauchelle, a handsome pilot who is the son of a shopkeeper in the nearby town. They begin a clandestine affair, and conceive an illicit child; tragically, though, World War I soon engulfs Europe and the young man suits up and marches off to Germany to fight the Hun in the French air force. Complicated circumstances lead Patricia to mistakenly conclude that Jacques has lost interest in her, prior to his deportation. Meanwhile, the news of a romance and parentage between partners of different social classes reaches Pascal and the Mazels -- none of whom take it well. In terms of its acting and physical production, the film cannot be faulted. The performances by Auteuil, newcomer Bergès-Frisbey, Duvauchelle, and the remainder of the cast are uniformly superb. Bergès-Frisbey does particularly excellent work; 24 at the time of shooting, and playing a character six years younger, her ability to channel a subtle array of delicate youthful neuroses and presexual trepidations holds one rapt; she enables the viewer to care. Above and beyond this, the picture benefits from cinematographer Jean-François Robin's painterly evocation of the French countryside, and an emotionally involving story. The script is flawed, though, in its establishment of Pascal's character. He seems not simply enigmatic, but erratic, almost schizoid. In one scene, for example, he projects sympathy and understanding regarding Patricia's expectancy, then tries to do right by taking her to see Nicolas's parents; not long after, he's a venomous monster who disowns Patricia by shuttling her off to live with an aunt, and spews ignorant rage, unwilling to even acknowledge that the girl exists. Nor are we clear on the initial reasons behind Pascal's bizarre earlier decision to send Patricia off with a foster mother; this is strange and unsettling enough that it demands further elaboration beyond Pascal's one speech to a handyman friend Kad Merad in an opening scene that crudely sketches out the family history. One senses -- rightly or wrongly -- that Pascal's actions and behavior may be at least partially attributable to the social etiquette and strictures of pre-WWI Europe, just as those rules for example guide the intolerance of Monsieur and Madame Mazel at the thought of their son impregnating a girl from the lower classes. But if this is true, it means that as screenwriter Auteuil hasn't really found an adequate way to justify the well-digger's responses and behavior toward Patricia within the context of the world in which they take place. The result is that the events of the story seem both alien and dated -- instead of recalling Jean de Florette and Manon des sources, Well-Digger seems closer to the German melodramas of Wolfgang Staudte particularly his 1957 Rose Bernd, with their operatic tales of sin, sex, impunity, and redemption -- motion pictures that have not aged well. That isn't to say, however, that Well-Digger is boring or particularly unpleasant to sit through -- quite the contrary. Even when we aren't sure how to account for Pascal's actions, the movie retains a fascination throughout, and as indicated, many of the other elements demonstrate professionalism and polish rare in contemporary cinema; despite its flaws, the drama exudes a beautiful poetic lyricism. The film should serve as a warning call, however. Well-Digger is veteran actor Auteuil's debut as a writer/director, and it was reported not long after the release of this picture that he had signed a deal to direct three additional Pagnol period dramas, this time, installments of the belletrist's acclaimed Fanny trilogy, back-to-back. After watching Well-Digger, you wonder if this wasn't a less-than-optimal choice for Auteuil -- he's obviously brilliant with actors, but he might simply be better suited for scripting and directing material that takes place in a contemporary context, which doesn't require as much leg-work introducing modern audiences to period events. If that's the case, and he wants to strike the same universal chords that director Claude Berri did in Jean and Manon, he's going to have to work several times harder on these next three Pagnol adaptations to fully succeed.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/24/2012
  • UPC: 738329097028
  • Original Release: 2011
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 55,485

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Daniel Auteuil Pascal Amoretti, The Well-Digger
Astrid Bergés-Frisbey Patricia Amoretti, Patricia
Kad Merad Felipe, Felipe Rambert
Sabine Azéma Mrs. Mazel, Mme. Mazel
Nicolas Duvauchelle Jacques Mazel, Jacques
Jean-Pierre Darroussin M. Mazel, Mazel
Emilie Cazenave Amanda
Marie-Anne Chazel Nathalie
Coline Bosso Isabelle
Chloe Malarde Marie
Brune Coustellier Leonora
Ilona Porte Roberte
Jean-Louis Barcelona Clerk
Patrick Bosso Waiter
François-Eric Gendron Captain
Technical Credits
Daniel Auteuil Director, Screenwriter
Berto Camera Operator
Alexandre Desplat Score Composer
Thomas Gauder Sound/Sound Designer
Gerard Gaultier Production Manager
Pierre-Yves Gayraud Costumes/Costume Designer
Jean Goudier Sound/Sound Designer
Henri Morel Sound/Sound Designer
Alain Olivieri-Afar Asst. Director
Jean-Marc Pacaud Production Designer
Jean-François Robin Cinematographer
Alain Sarde Producer
Jerome Seydoux Producer
Bernard Vezat Art Director
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews