Born in ’68

Revelers celebrating the 40th anni of France's famous May uprising will find little to holler about in "Born in '68."

With: Laetitia Casta, Yannick Renier, Yann Tregouet, Christine Citti, Marc Citti, Sabrina Seyvecou, Theo Frilet, Edouard Collin, Kate Moran, Slimane Yefsah.

Revelers celebrating the 40th anni of France’s famous May uprising will find little to holler about in “Born in ’68,” a generational melodrama where syrupy nostalgia and other cliches headline a manifesto that’s much less political than emotionally provocative. Initially conceived as a two-part TV movie by filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (“Jeanne and the Perfect Guy”), and slightly trimmed for theatrical, pic boasts a strong cast that sheds plenty of tears but not much else in a fairly standard, uninventive treatment of the iconoclastic epoch. Midsized May release has few prospects beyond Gaul.

Narrative’s first half spans 1968-81, beginning with the legendary springtime protests and culminating in the election of Socialist prez Francois Mitterrand. In between, the pic introduces the (literal) threesome of Catherine (Laetitia Casta), Yves (Yannick Renier) and Herve (Yann Tregouet), who spend the turbulent months making lots of love and few anti-government stances.

Disillusioned by the failures of a movement they seem only marginally involved in, they join some hippie outcasts to form a commune in France’s pastoral Lot region down south. When Catherine eventually opts for the more stable and less idealistic Yves, Herve takes off into the wilderness, only to return several years later on the run for murder.

Second half, which terminates with Sarkozy’s 2007 rise to power, focuses on Catherine and Yves’ children, Boris (Theo Frilet) and Ludmilla (Sabrina Seyvecou). They predictably reject the free-love, flower-wielding ideals of their now-separated parents.

Filmmakers seem more comfortable with the ’80s material, especially Boris’ political involvement in the AIDS awareness movement and Ludmilla’s rocky marriage to an Iranian traditionalist (Slimane Yefsah). Some early sequences of flower painting, guitar strumming and idealized group sex are corny enough to make the cold, contemporary world of plasma screens and cell phones in film’s closing scenes seem a preferable utopia.

Pic’s vast historical fresco is quickly dispatched via several television sets, which always seem to be featuring major world events (fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, etc.) whenever they’re turned on in the background.

Male leads Renier (“Private Property”), Tregouet and Frilet are relatively convincing, but ex-supermodel Casta seems ill-cast as the hippie love goddess. Bright digital lensing restricts action to closeups and two-shots, and apart from some tear-jerking moments, the soundtrack is composed of the usual ’60s-’80s trendsetters.

Born in '68


Production: A Pyramide Distribution release of a Les Films Pelleas, Arte France production, with participation of France 2, CNC. (International sales: Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Philippe Martin, Lola Gans. Directed, written by Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Matthieu Poirot-Delpech; editor, Dominique Gallieni; music, Philippe Miller; production designer, Denis Moutereau; costume designer, Catherine Rigault; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS Digital), Regis Miller, Julien Bourdeau, Olivier Do Huu; assistant director, Sebastien Matuchet; casting, Antoine Carrard. Reviewed at UGC Normandie 2, Paris, May 21, 2008. Running time: 169 MIN.

With: With: Laetitia Casta, Yannick Renier, Yann Tregouet, Christine Citti, Marc Citti, Sabrina Seyvecou, Theo Frilet, Edouard Collin, Kate Moran, Slimane Yefsah.

More Film

  • Jennifer Lopez Owen Wilson

    Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson Film 'Marry Me' Moves Back to Universal From STX

    The Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson romantic comedy “Marry Me” has moved from STX back to its original home, Universal Pictures. STX previously took over the project in April. Kat Coiro is directing from a script written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Colombian singer/rapper Maluma has joined the cast and [...]

  • Austin Butler to Star as Elvis

    Austin Butler to Star as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's Biopic

    Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic has found its king of rock ‘n’ roll. After numerous screen tests, Austin Butler has been tapped to play Elvis Presley in Luhrmann’s next feature film for Warner Bros. The studio tested with a handful of actors in full hair and make-up at the end of June to see who [...]

  • 'The King's Man' Trailer Debuts With

    'The King's Man' Trailer Showcases Secret Service's Origins

    Disney is promising plenty of sword-fighting, gunplay and devastation in its first teaser trailer for the Fox spy comedy prequel “The King’s Man.” The studio unveiled a first look Monday that sets the stage for an origin story of the private British  intelligence service, portrayed in the two previous films in the franchise: 2014’s “Kingsman: The [...]

  • Emma Stone Damien Chazelle Babylon

    Emma Stone Eyes Damien Chazelle's Next Film 'Babylon'

    “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle is heading back to Hollywood for his next feature film “Babylon,” and Emma Stone is in early talks to star. Sources say Chazelle has met with a handful of suitors over the past couple weeks, and Paramount and Lionsgate are both vying to land the project. While Chazelle previously [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    2019 Imagen Awards Nominations: Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas and More

    Jennifer Lopez and Antonion Banderas are among this year’s Imagen Awards nominees, which span a range of categories including informational programming, on-air advertising, outstanding individual performances and prime time programming in film and television. The Imagen awards were first established in 1985 upon recommendation from TV veteran Normal Lear in an effort to recognize more [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content