Title: The Well-Digger’s Daughter
Review/Synopsis: 7/10 A poor, French widower raising several daughters in rural France right before and during WWII, encounters a problem when one of his daughters begins a relationship with a rich soldier in the neighboring town, before that soldier is sent to war. As you can tell from most of my reviews, I really enjoy films with dark color palettes, but this film caught me by surprise. The nice pastels and panoramas of light colored farm fields were a gorgeous addition to the quite serious and tragic nature of the plot. Yet another European, period film that caught me off guard and exceeded my expectations. Although the film takes place in the 40s, the story really is timeless. I really enjoyed the cultural differences and gender expectations highlighted in the film. The film is slow going in parts and is quite sad throughout, but the ending is positive and the production is beautiful. Despite any shortcomings, the film is very pleasing to the eye and a nice treat for any lover of French film. If you haven’t seen a foreign film before, aren’t into tragic or historical films, or aren’t up on your subtitle reading skills, I might save this film for another time as it is a bit lengthy. While I understand a plot has to stick with a relatively small number of characters, I do wish the writers would have included more character development for the female protagonist’s many sisters and a little more about her dead mother. I felt like there were some important details missing. This film is calm and tragic and definitely not for the action lover.
Stars: Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Daniel Auteuil
Country/Language: France-French w/subtitles
Where to watch: Netflix