29 Apr 2009

The Grocer’s Son


This film is a gentle watch with all the right ingredients that make French movies such a pleasure. For a start the main character is pretty easy on the eye and the female counterpart is not bad either. The plot is nothing too heavy or violent with just the right amount of emotional angst to keep me happy.


Prodigal son Antoine, returns reluctantly to help run the family small business after his father is bed ridden with a stroke. He must drive his father’s mobile van to the nearby remote villages and fill the grocery orders of the locals – much to his distaste and boredom. He has no interest in this languishing trade and makes it very apparent to his elderly customers. With time and a little help from his love interest Claire, he learns humility and some worthy life lessons. The relationships in the film are beautifully developed and subtle – it is often more about what is not said than what is.


This film was a surprise box office success in France and the winner of several prestigious European awards and is simply about re-discovering life and love and becoming enamoured with the French countryside.


Short of a little vacation, this is the next best thing, xv.



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Thank you so much for recommending this film. I added it to my Netflix queue. The site said it has a long wait…so I may watch it instantly. Based on your review, I know I’ll love it! Thanks!!

Madame DeFarge

Sounds good. I shall have to keep an eye out in the arthouse cinemas in London. I have a thing about films with subtitles. Always make more sense than films in English.

hello gorgeous

Oh, I will definitely watch.

I loved “Au Revoir Les Enfants” to a ridiculous degree, so French film recs are appreciated.

(Okay, I just realized how long ago that movie was so hopefully you will cut me some slack :-)

david mcmahon

Came here from Just A Plane Ride Away. Some lovely images on your site.

Speaking of Provence on this review, that’s one place I’d love to go with my cameras!

The Pink Poodle

dear vicki…
thanks for sharing this movie with us…
shall try to find it here in OZ..should be lovely viewing now that winter is fast approaching..
plus I can try to practise some french..or at least pretend to!!

take care..xx andrea


Thank you for pointing me in the right direction – next time I’m at the DVD store this will be my selection. It sounds wonderful! Lee :)


My dear Vicky,

What a delightful blog you have here! Thank you for your visit and for introducing me to your “French Essence”. This movie sounds just great. It is on my list to search for this weekend. I hope I find it. I have to come back and savor with more time and hope you do not mind if I had you to my favorite “Sun Rooms” to visit. Merci!



from the right bank

This is the kind of film that first made me a French film buff. It’s also one of the (many) things I miss about living in France. Thankfully, everything travels and comes out in DVD much faster these days.


This movie has piqued my interest at the video store, and now I am definitely adding it to my to-watch list!


Mmm, they are not parisiens, both caracters live in Lyon ! And the film was filmed in a lovely village called Rosans, in Hautes Alpes ;-)


Just watched the film and then found your blog ironically enough. Love both. Wish there was a way to find Claire's dresses online, they'd make the perfect present for my girlfriends birthday…


I placed the movie in my Amazon cart and then decided to look around to see if it was available on the street of New York. What a wonderful way to bump into you,Madame. I hope I remember French Essence, because I'm a 33rd and 3rd type of guy who simply loves the French way of life. I think it is fantastic that you took such agreat risk uprooting your life because I need to do the same. Can't wait to get my grubby hands on this video,The Grocer's Son.

Warren Master

Having travelled in such rural corners of France since 1985 – including these parts of the Rhone-Alpes – I suspect what made the film resonate with some French audiences was the bitter sweet reminder of a disappearing way of life, one that’s at the corps of so much of French culture and self image. I agree, a beautiful little gem – the story, the subtle performances and the unblemished authenticity of the settings. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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