My Mother's Castle Review

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Marcel's authobiographical recollections of holiday's spent journeying along a canal with his family to meet his sweetheart Isabella


This sequel to My Father's Glory, picks up precisely where that one left off.
Sympathetic to young Marcel's passion for Provence, which she shares, his mother Augustine (Roussel) here engineers that the family can now spend all holidays and every weekend there, even though the journey involves the family in a four-hour walk.

How this journey leads them into ever more extraordinary little adventures is the substance of the film, whose other incidents involve Marcel (the dreary Ciamaca) studying for a scholarship to the Lycee and having a brief childhood romance with a truly bizarre little girl (Timmerman).

Where My Mother's Castle scores over its predecessor is in having an ending that, for the first time, makes manifest the presence of Marcel Pagnol from whose autobiography the material comes, and doing so in a sequence that is genuinely moving.

It also offers us a comfortable familiarity with the family car­ried over from the first film, and a series of marvellous featured cameos from distinguished French old-timers Jean Rochefort, Georges Wilson and Jean Carmet.

For the rest, however, it meanders along in the same haze of syrupy, often tedious, perfection as its companion piece, absolutely the mixture as before.

In short, those who liked My Father's Glory (and there are many) will love this one, those who didn't, won't.