Few people have captured the essence of Province more than renowned author Marcel Pagnol. His novels and plays transport readers to a time and place (Marseille in the 1930s) where little seems to matter aside from hunting, drinking and playing Petanque.
In 2013, Daniel Auteuil attempts to bring the beloved trilogy Marius, Fanny and Cesar back to the screen, himself starring as Cesar. While only the first two films have been made, they manage to resurrect the familiar and, for the most part, lovable characters we had buried in the back of our minds.
Marius and Fanny, young, beautiful and in love, would make the perfect couple if Marius wasn’t so tortured by his desire to travel out at sea. When the time comes for him to choose between the love of his life and a big boat full of dirty sailors, he acts as any selfless man would… or not. And everyone else is left to pick up the pieces.
The films feel a lot like a play in terms of the setting. Most scenes are set either in the port or Cesar’s bar, and capture the cozy, quaint atmosphere of the small village where everyone knows everyone and everyone has their role- whether it be sailor, bartender or seashell merchant.
As you find your heart breaking along with Fanny’s, the bright hues and deafening sound of cicadas will make you wish you too could spend your life there, having a drink by the portside and worrying only about what delicious dinner to make that night- and whether or not the man you love will leave you to expand his horizons.