Montparnasse- Pondichery

Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert's "Montparnasse-Pondichery" is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube.

With:
Julie ... Miou-Miou Leo ... Yves Robert Bertin ... Andre Dussollier Raoul Marquet ... Jacques Perrin Felix ... Maxime Leroux Mme. Chamot ... Judith Magre

Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube.

Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom to a ravishing young daughter, is a successful wallpaper designer who never received her high school diploma. When a dashing commercial consul (Jacques Perrin) invites her to teach print design near his post in Pondichery, India, Julie goes back to school to get the qualification to enable her to accept the job. The students couldn’t be nicer, and the class clown sweetly courts her.

Julie breaks up with her devoted but condescending b.f., Felix (Maxime Leroux), gets drunk, then gets lost in the labyrinthine Montparnasse subway station, where she meets Leo (director Robert), a former trumpeter with the Paris Opera. At age 70, he’s also studying for a high school diploma, by correspondence, and the two begin a deeply supportive but chaste relationship.

Nearly everything about the story is too good to be true, but characters are appealing and pic’s messages of tolerance, anti-ageism and unqualified love are conveyed with energy. The only truly nasty character is a chic, no-nonsense math teacher (Judith Magre) whose name, Chamot, also sounds like the French word for “camel.”

Nice touches include teary-eyed Julie and Leo telling their life stories while peeling onions. Ill-advised ones include a rap song that tries way too hard and highlights of the Julie-Leo relationship flashing by at pic’s end.

As Julie, Miou-Miou gives a nicely nuanced perf, and 73-year-old helmer Robert (“My Father’s Glory”) sparkles as the easygoing, grandfather-figure musician. As a devoted philosophy prof, Andre Dussollier in fact gets the most screen time, though the tone of the classroom lectures is mostly prankish and light.

Vladimir Cosma’s lively, sometimes dissonant melodies are occasionally invasive. Plentiful closeups add intimacy and will work well for TV showings.

Montparnasse- Pondichery

(FRENCH)

Production: A Gaumont Buena Vista Intl. release of a La Gueville/Gaumont/Gaumont Production 2/TF1 Films production, with participation of Canal Plus. Produced by Daniele Delorme, Alain Poire. Directed by Yves Robert. Screenplay, Robert, Frederic Lasaygues.

Crew: Camera (color), Robert Alazraki; editors, Pierre Gilette, Monique Andre; music, Vladimir Cosma; production design, Jacques Dugied; art direction, Martin Drescher; costume design, Marie-Claude Herry; sound, Pierre Lenoir, William Flageollet; assistant director, Luc Goldenberg. Reviewed at UGC Danton Cinema, Paris, Jan. 15, 1994. Running time:103 MIN.

With: Julie ... Miou-Miou Leo ... Yves Robert Bertin ... Andre Dussollier Raoul Marquet ... Jacques Perrin Felix ... Maxime Leroux Mme. Chamot ... Judith Magre

More Film

  • Ingmar Bergman 100th Birthday Anniversary.

    Ingmar Bergman's Centennial: A Time to Celebrate Joy of Filmmaking

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

  • CAA Promotes Eric Schonberg to Agent

    CAA Promotes Eric Schonberg to Agent

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

  • The Indoraptor prepares to strike in

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Stomps to $15.3 Million on Thursday Night

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

  • Sinemia Introduces Family Plans, Challenging MoviePass

    Movie Ticketing Service Sinemia Introduces Family Plans

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

  • Longtime Disney Executive Mark Endemano Steps

    Longtime Disney Executive Mark Endemano Steps Down

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

  • Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo ChatrianNew Berlinale

    Mariette Rissenbeek, Carlo Chatrian to Become Co-Chiefs of Berlin Film Festival

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

  • Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin

    'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' to Be First U.S. Indie Title Released in Saudi Arabia

    Asaccharine, bighearted tale about characters returning to school at an advanced age, Yves Robert’s “Montparnasse-Pondichery” is a wholesome tribute to public education that brims with praise for growth and change at every stage of life. Naive but watchable pic should do nicely at Gallic wickets and on the Euro tube. Julie (Miou-Miou), 40-year-old single mom […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content