Despite some dramatic weaknesses, this small and touching film - the sort that the French manage to
carry out so well - left this reviewer with a warm feeling after seeing it. Both Gérard Depardieu, as a rough-around-the-edges blue-collar worker and Gisèle Casadesus, the 95-year-old "dame" whom he befriends, bring their distinctive touches to their roles. Depardieu's galumphing gruffness is counterbalanced by Ms. Casadesus' spun-glass fragility.
Chasz (Depardieu) has been deeply hurt by life, in the person of an unloving and unloveable virago of a mother, but is nonetheless capable of deep love, such as for his much younger and beautiful Annette. Marguéritte has had a lifelong and deep love with the written word, and it is this which joins these two very different yet similar human beings. Tighter directing might have helped the occasional sagging narrative, and there are moments of unnecessary overacting. Some profanity and sex, so not kid-appropriate.
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Notes on a Scandal
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