Sweet Beauty: The film THE GROCER’S SON

Dear Reader,

“It is summer, and thirty-year-old Antoine is forced to leave the city [Paris] to return to his family in Provence. His father is sick, so he must assume the lifestyle he thought he had shed—driving the family grocery cart from hamlet to hamlet, delivering supplies to the few remaining inhabitants. Accompanied by Claire, a friend from Paris whom he has a secret crush on, Antoine gradually warms up to his experience in the country and his encounters with the villagers, who initially seem stubborn and gruff, but ultimately prove to be funny and endearing.” (This synopsis is from Film Movement.  Film Movement provides “Early Access to Award-Winning Independent Foreign Film.”)

I don’t mean to lessen the impact of The Grocer’s Son by describing it as a sweet, beautiful film, but it is a sweet, beautiful film. After all, it stars Provence’s bucolic sumptuousness and actor Nicolas Cazale′s boyish-lips-and-all-man seductiveness. But there’s more: it doesn’t force its characters into bloom; it provides the right amount of light, and darkness, to urge each character’s vulnerability—sweetness—to open up and gradually scent his/her and viewers’ understanding. And no character is required to “change” into something s/he hasn’t been all along. Petunias remain petunias, lilies remain lilies, and thistles remain thistles, but all are infused and brightened  by internal and external tenderness. The viewers are also infused and brightened.

So, I suggest you treat your eyes, nose, taste buds, and your writing to The Grocer’s Son. Why? Sweet beauty.


February 2009
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Photo Credits: Header - Barbara McNichol, Author - Bernadette Garcia

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