Cinéfranco 2016: “Saint Amour” (2016) ★★★


French Cinematography is characterized by a refined taste for cinema. Maybe not every movie you see, but most of them have an important story to tell, and even to provide a lifechanging lesson. In many cases, it will shake you to the core by its reality. But when it comes to Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern’s Saint Amour, it’s hard to praise it, but again, its little nuances are what will make you genuinely smile by the time you reach the end of the movie.

Saint Amour centers around three men: Jean (Gérard Depardieu), his grown up but still incompetent son, Bruno (Benoît Poelvoorde) and their taxi driver, Mike (Vincent Lacoste). The father and son duo are heading for a farm festival via the Wine Trail to explore every sort of wine they could find on their way. While they taste vino, they get a chance to look closer into their relationship, explore its meaning, and how it can be improved. Maybe both men are barely sober, but that’s when they are lost in between of reality and fantasy of their own world, they can find the fast track to something they were looking for for such a long time…

Bruno is most of the time drunk. His father also did not go far from him, as they finish up as much alcohol as they could. Both of them have their own reasons not to be happy about life: Jean still mourns the departure of his wife, Marie, and Bruno, who complains about his unpresentable look and lack of charm, His ungentlemanly-like behavior makes women stay away from him. After seeing him, you will never blame them for that. But, there is something cute about his personality that makes the audience believe in a happy ending for his life – which again, is up to him.

Mike, in the meantime, a taxi driver, who unintentionally joins into the family drama. As per him, he is married and has kids, but soon you realize not all he said was true. But when you get know his reasons better, you realize why it was necessary for Mike to live behind the facade of the story he created for himself. Three men, during their road trip towards an unpredictable ending will teach each other how to find a new meaning of their existence and something beautiful to look forward to.

Even though Saint Amour is a charming story about a father-and-son relationship, it still fails to find the bottom line. As it tries to connect the dots, its emotional part was certainly missing. Having perfect cast for the film sometimes does not help for a film to survive, when the story, even if it has its clear approach, can’t reach to the heart of its audience, but still manages to leave a slight mark. But that slight mark is not enough to make a noise. Saying that, only sentimental part of the audience can completely connect with the movie. And if you’re one of them, then – you’re the winner.

%d bloggers like this: