Je rentre à la maison

Poster for Je rentre à la maison

Winter 2003 Edge series

Sunday, February 9, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated G · 1h 30m

At the age of 93, Manoel de Oliveira remains one of the great masters of world cinema, directing his first film in 1931. Astonishingly, he has made 13 features since 1990, the quality of which has never dwindled. He won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in 1991 for The Divine Comedy and a jury prize at Cannes in 1999 for The Letter. Like his remarkable career, Je Rentre á la Maison is at once austere, wise and elegant. It also features a glorious performance from perhaps France’s greatest living thespian, the 76-year-old Michel Piccoli – a veteran of some one hundred films since 1945. As the movie begins, Gilbert Valence (Piccoli), a highly respected theatre actor, receives the worst news imaginable: his wife, daughter and son-in-law have been killed in a car crash. Initially devastated, Gilbert gradually regains stability in his life as he increasingly devotes himself to his beloved grandson Serge. He also finds refuge in a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, where his commanding turn as Prospero allows him to come to terms with a deeply spiritual conception of death. After angrily refusing a terribly lucrative role in a trashy and sensationalist TV movie, Gilbert accepts an offer from an American director played by a brilliantly ridiculous John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich). Gilbert’s role in an ambitious adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses provides him with the chance to finally reconcile the wisdom he has gained through his career, his ideals, and his life. A running gag about the comfort of habitual conduct in a Paris café is one of the funniest accumulative gags of recent times, worthy of the great silent comedians. This slyly subversive, bittersweet film also features a wonderful cameo by Catherine Deneuve, who sparkles in an already brilliant production.

“Like a precious and finely cut diamond, magnificent…in its sparkling beauty yet…it’s one tough rock… Adventurous moviegoers who give themselves up to its subtle, persuasive charms are in for a treat.” – Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

“A curiously beguiling experience.” – Philip French, The Observer

“This is a gem: a small but perfectly formed, perfectly poised and perfectly acted movie, a leisurely and elegant study of an elderly widower and the city in which he is utterly at home: Paris.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian