Wednesday, 20 September 2017


“Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.” - Booth Tarkington 

Granny’s Funeral (2012; “Adieu Berthe – L’enterrement de mémé”) Comedy/Drama, 100 minutes – Written and directed by Bruno Podalydès; starring Denis Podalydès, Valérie Lemercier, Isabelle Candelier. – 6.0/10

Last weekend we watched a low key, tragicomic, French film, which although agreeable didn’t really shine. It was time pleasantly spent and the film did broach some serious topics, but overall, the comic pace was jolting, the bumbling anti-hero was somewhat tiresome and the two women of his life a trifle annoying. The plot is as follows: Armand Lebrecq (Denis Podalydès) once dreamed of becoming a magician but he has become a pharmacist. He still loves his wife, Hélène (Isabelle Candelier) , but wouldn’t mind leaving her to live with Alix (Valérie Lemercier), a strong-minded woman. But should he?

One day, Armand learns that Berthe, his granny who lives in a nursing home, has just died. A little guilty of having neglected her lately, Armand finds himself busy with organising her funeral as well as having to deal with his complicated personal life. He does everything clumsily, as usual...

The basic flaw of the film is that the plot outline sounds more promising than the actual resulting film. The characters do not involve the viewer in their lives and predicaments successfully and the story with “granny’s youthful secret” is not as climactic as the writers believe it to be. Armand fails to growth and learn from his experiences and at the end of the film he is as bumbling and ineffectual (if not more so!) than at the beginning of the film.

Nevertheless the film is pleasant enough for a weekend afternoon, watching with a glass of iced tea (or perhaps something stronger, which may make the movie even more agreeable for you). Watch it if you chance upon it and you have an hour-and-a-half or so to kill, but don't go out of your way to search for it too assiduously…

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