La tête en friche [My Afternoons with Margueritte] (2010)

La tête en friche
Director: Jean Becker
Writer: Jean Becker, Jean-Loup Dabadie
Based on: Marie-Sabine Roger’s book
Cast: Gérard Depardieu, Gisèle Casadesus, Sophie Guillemin

Germain (Gérard Depardieu) is in his mid-forties and barely literate. He lives in a trailer in his mother’s garden, gets by on irregular jobs, has a group of friends, some less kind than others and a girlfriend (Sophie Guillemin). He enjoys counting pigeons in the park which is where he meets Margueritte (Gisèle Casadesus), a rather lonely woman in her mid-90s. Against all odds, Margueritte and Germain become friends and Margueritte starts reading to Germain, opening his mind.

La tête en friche is a nice film, but it doesn’t quite reach the charm and intelligence of the book. But it’s short and sweet and it works for the most part.


This movie is one of those cases that would be nicer if I hadn’t read the book before. Not earth-shatteringly good or anything, but comparing it to the book makes it more lacking than it is on its own. And I’m saying that even though the book is not great either.

But Germain was the better character in the book. He’s relationship with Annette made more sense. And the ending wasn’t so super-overly sweet. They gave it the cinema treatment, when they should have left it smaller.


Nevertheless it was a nice movie. Competently filmed and acted, there is nothing overtly or obviously wrong with it. There is just nothing outstanding about it. It’s one of those films that you like while you’re watching them, but that you pretty much forget immediately afterwards.


Summarising: nice but not wow.

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