Written by Eric Guirado and Florence Vignon
Cinematography by Laurent Brunet
Editing by Pierre Haberer
Original music by Christophe Boutin
Cast: Nicolas Cazalé, Clotilde Hesme, Daniel Duval, Jeanne Goupil, Stéphan Guérin-Tillié
France, 2007, Film Movement, 35mm, color, 96 min.
French with English subtitles
Read Program notes (coming soon)
Antoine Sforza left his parents, their business, and provincial hometown ten years ago, but now he is pulled back to help out with the grocery store after his father’s heart attack. While his mother tends the small store, Antoine travels through the gently rolling green hills to sell basic items to the elderly people who can’t always get into town. He has absolutely no social skills and demands money rather than credit or bartering. When his neighbor Claire comes to visit from Lyon, he cheers up markedly. When she goes out on a sales run with him, his business picks up dramatically. Claire knows how to talk to people and charm them. Antoine is too much like his gruff father, but he is young enough to change.
But this little idyll can’t last too long. Claire has plans of going to school in Spain. Antoine has no job awaiting him back in Lyon, but he hates being at home, especially when his father comes out the hospital, surly and mean as ever. Antoine needs to make a decision – to stay or to leave.
Nicolas Cazalé (Antoine) has an ability to act from within, to reveal the storm inside his heart and mind. His perfect performance is deftly complemented by the effervescent Clotilde Hesme as Claire. Another plus for the film is the cinematography of the surrounding countryside and the marvelous faces of the elderly customers, who provide both humor and pathos. Antoine’s growing relationship with the ancient Mr. Clement. THE GROCER’S SON is a thoroughly delightful, often light-hearted look at youthful aspirations and middle-aged realities in a provincial setting. Florence Vignon, who co-wrote MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON, is also the co-writer of THE GROCER’S SON.