The Grand Highway

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Praised to the high heavens in France, where it was the number 1 French-produced film of the year and the recipient of six Cesar nominations, THE GRAND HIGHWAY has been compared to the films of Jean Renoir and Marcel Pagnol for its portrayal of provincial life and to those of Francois Truffaut for its handling of childhood. Unfortunately, the film is an...read more

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Praised to the high heavens in France, where it was the number 1 French-produced film of the year and the recipient of six Cesar nominations, THE GRAND HIGHWAY has been compared to the films of Jean Renoir and Marcel Pagnol for its portrayal of provincial life and to those of Francois

Truffaut for its handling of childhood. Unfortunately, the film is an uninventive, calculated look at the charm, innocence, and simplicity of country life that falls flat in all but a few scenes. Hubert is a high-strung nine-year-old Parisian who is taken to the country for a few weeks while his

pregnant mother (Pascal) has her baby. He soon finds the peaceful village where he is staying with his mother's friend Marcelle (Anemone) incredibly boring. Anemone, who gleefully skins rabbits and plucks out their eyes, horrifies Hubert, but even more terrifying is her gruff, hulking monster of a

husband (Bohringer). The boy's only relief springs from his friendship with Guedj, a 10-year-old country girl who wanders around barefoot and willingly shows him her underwear. A loud, precocious youngster, this walking encyclopedia of taboos tells Hubert about menstruation, gonorrhea, toilet

habits, and funerals. Not surprisingly, Hubert is frightened by his new friend, but he is also fascinated.

Although the film was widely praised for its depiction of the young stars' escapades, the most-interesting and -complex characters are Anemone and Bohringer, whose lives have been in a state of suspended animation since the death of their child. One can't help but be moved by their situation and

their rediscovery of life that Hubert's arrival heralds. Both Anemone and the exceptional Bohringer were justifiably awarded Cesars for their efforts. THE GRAND HIGHWAY was eventually remade in the US as PARADISE (1991). (French; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Praised to the high heavens in France, where it was the number 1 French-produced film of the year and the recipient of six Cesar nominations, THE GRAND HIGHWAY has been compared to the films of Jean Renoir and Marcel Pagnol for its portrayal of provincial… (more)

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