For her 7th movie, A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY, Nicole Garcia has a new plot in the South that she loves. Here again, the director oscillates between the film obscure and dark which goes on for partial shading, full of suffering and unsaid and a film bursting to the picture of a seaside in summer, where may appear sometimes a few rays of the sun that blinds them full in the face. Four years earlier, in A BALCONY ON THE SEA (2010), there was also this South dazzling and bright where two beings were and challenged their childhood memories in Algeria and the loss of a love of youth. In A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY, Sandra (Louise Bourgoin), a waitress on a beach, and Baptiste (Pierre Rochefort), substitute professor, each live for their job. Between hardness psychological and physical, they both try to keep the head out of the water. The past of the Baptist is revealed by a process of flash-back (already been used in A BALCONY ON THE SEA) and the confrontation with his family where reminiscences are flush. The camera reveals the dark side of the character, just like Sandra’s, which is struggling with its debt crisis. However, during their moments shared, of the beaches of clarity burst in like the promise of a better life, at hand…
As often in the filmography of Nicole Garcia family ties are scrambled, aborted, or destroyed and impossible, then that, by definition, they are naturally there, present in each of us. It is always an absence, a lack, and each of his films tells in his own way (A weekend in 1990, The favorite son, in 1994, The Opponent in 2002). Isolated and facing a rupture that still seems cruel and unfair, the main character tries so hard to reposition itself to the place (mother / son or brother) who has been assigned at the start by recreating the link where everything has been defeated, broken. More by necessity than desire, Baptiste will find his / her family to help support Sandra. A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY tells the same complexity of family ties and, a break, a real break. The violence of exclusion from the family circle to Baptist, foreign, mocked among his followers, seems to be unsustainable. The maternal love is absent, since Sandra seems to be a mother to his son that “on paper” and Liliane (magnificent performance of Dominique Sanda has already been seen in A ROOM IN TOWN Jacques Demy 1982), mother’s icy and austere Baptist, manifests a hardness without the name to his son. We are witnessing the confrontation of a before and an after, to the denunciation of some social pressure and a requirement of success within this family, where Baptiste has failed to highlight a social divide between this tribe pushy where, paradoxically, in the bourgeois comfort, the man seems to be a wolf to man, and the two free electrons that are the solitary Baptist, and the solar Sandra. The characters are tempted to recreate the link to their own way, where it has been lacking, with this idea that love saves all, unless it allows a new start.
A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY tells the same complexity of family ties and, a break, a real break.
At first glance, the movie has its lengths, its moments of boredom, and despite the hardness of the context (psychological and real), everything seems too quiet. But, as it takes time to form, to give birth to self and be born in the world, Nicole Garcia seems to film this time of gestation, for here a hypothetical renaissance. For Baptiste and Sandra (the actors fit perfectly in their role) will operate the crossing of two identities in that they have deeper and more obscure, and then the birth of their love, the re-conquest of their place in the sun”, to lead to this renaissance of identity as being “liked” and not as a mere pawn of social. “I met someone” introduces Sandra to a colleague. Someone more ? Or someone really ?, regardless, all that hope lost is found. As to the character of Emmanuelle (the very convincing Déborah François), sister of Baptiste, he is strangely reminiscent of that of Marie-Jeanne (Marie-José Croze) in A BALCONY ON THE SEA, in love and quiet that the darkness of the unspoken scares as much as the blonde and the sweet angelic charm.
Nicole Garcia, with his screenwriter Jacques Fieschi, manages to capture an atmosphere that tends a little towards the polar, film noir, and by moments, we leave the simple comedy / drama to get to something that would be close to the thriller. Some of the scenes are concerned about and let them feel uncomfortable, such as when Emmanuelle, sister of Baptiste, looking next to his brother in the family property. Baptist leaves nothing to perceive the emotional misery that surrounds him when the film begins. The viewer is gradually embedded in a abyss of a staggering and hardly able to believe what he discovers… While it assumes the character of Sandra’s more to be pitied, it is he who seems to have earned its place which hides a distress sometimes more profound.
A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY can create opinions are mixed but the film neither seen nor known, mark the spirits.
Baptiste is a loner. A teacher in the south of France, he never stays more than a quarter in the same position. On the eve of a weekend, it inherits in spite of him by Mathias, one of his students, forgotten in the output of the school by a father’s neglect. Mathias takes the Baptist until her mother, Sandra. It is a beautiful woman, who after many adventures, works on a beach near Montpellier. In a day in a charming place between the three of them, like the outline of a family for those who do not. It does not last. Sandra owes money, it is the threat, it should resolve to a new start, a new leak. To help Sandra, Baptiste will have to return to the roots of his life, that he has his most painful, most secret.
• Original title : A beautiful Sunday
• Achievement : Nicole Garcia
• Screenplay : Nicole Garcia, Jacques Fieschi
• Main actors : Pierre Rochefort, Louise Bourgoin, Dominique Sanda, Deborah Francois, Eric Ruf, Benjamin Lavernhe, Olivier Loustau, Jean-Pierre Martins, Mathias Brézot, Michael Evans…
• Country of origin : France
• Output : 5 February 2014
• Duration : 1 hour 35 minutes
• Distributor : Diaphana Distribution
• Trailer :
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