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The Well-Digger's Daughter Review

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Pre-Great War France. Beautiful village girl Patricia (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) is the apple of father Pascal's (Auteuil) eye. But the cranky, sharp-witted widower is deeply wounded when she's left pregnant and abandoned after her wealthy lover is sent to fight in the war. Crushed, he banishes her.

★★★★★

Daniel Auteuil shot to fame in adaptations of Marcel Pagnol’s Jean De Florette and Manon Des Sources. Now he’s made his directorial debut adapting another Pagnol tale, which the writer himself filmed in 1940. It’s a sweetly emotional business about the travails between the proud well-digger (Auteuil), his beauteous daughter (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) and a rich man’s son (Nicolas Duvauchelle), who flies off to war not knowing he’s left the poor girl pregnant. With Papa’s honour sullied and his kind, middle- aged pal (Kad Merad) offering marriage, what’s a girl to do? An expert ensemble and assured direction incline to the lighter side of melodrama and the young lovers are pretty, as are the sunny locations.

Fans of Manon Des Sources will revel in Auteuil's performance. He proves he's a dab hand behind the camera, too, with a touching romantic drama.

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