french films > Petite Lili (La)

Petite Lili (La)

Petite Lili (La)

cast: Ludivine Sagnier, Nicole Garcia, Bernard Giraudeau

year: 2003

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Claude Miller

runtime: 104

Drama "Claude Miller seamlessly transposes Chekhov's The Seagull from late 19th-century Russia to modern-day rural France, and its characters from the theatre to the film world. It works as both an adaptation and a movie in its own right. Though the opening credits note the script, by Miller and Julien Boivent, is "freely inspired by Anton Chekhov," it features all of the play's characters in easily identifiable roles, plus a structure that closely follows the original until the final act. The basic theme is about how life fuels the art of cinema. The backdrop is the country home of celebrated actress Mado (Nicole Garcia) and the warring tribe that comprises her immediately family and friends. Teenage son Julien (Robinson Stevenin) wants to be a cutting-edge filmmaker and also wants his mother's approval. But these two, both covering up fragile egos, cannot remain civil to each other for more than a minute. Mado's older brother Simon (Jean-Pierre Marielle) is making a career out of being the household's charming but perennially sleepy old man. Mado's current lover, Brice (Bernard Giraudeau), director of her most recent pictures, seems supportive but has a wandering male eye. Jeanne-Marie (Julie Depardieu), daughter of the handyman (Marc Betton)- whose wife (Anne Le Ny) is carrying on with a stuffy doctor (Yves Jacques)- is madly in love with Julien, who fails to notice her. La petite Lili is a work of whimsy, passion, visual lushness and no small degree of warmth for its characters." (Ciné-Lumière/Institut Français)


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