A disillusioned Parisian artist (Auteuil – Jean de Florette 1987, La Fille Sur Le Pont 2000, Cache 2007) facing divorce, returns to his childhood home in rural France. There he hires his former schoolmate as a gardener (Darroussin – Feux Rouges 2004, Le Pressentiment 2006). What follows is a quintessentially French film consisting of conversations between the two men as they explore the meaning of art and their divergent attitudes to life.
The film never judges its characters and never suggests that one approach should be valued above the other. Yet will the painter with all his sophistication be influenced by the gardener’s appreciation of the natural world and working class values? In the same way as a master painter’s work can evoke emotion and reflection, Becker’s direction guides Auteuil and Darroussin’s performances to develop a series of conversations into a special film that touches us. A male-bonding film with a difference.
Its edited so nimbly that it never drags, and the conversations themselves are profound and affecting, however insignificant they appear on the surface. Nicholas Barber, The Independent.
Conversations is brilliantly written with a pace sustained superbly over two hours, never permitting the viewers attention to drift. Its simple framework of stories and observations persistently provides entertainment and a warm good humour full of gentle comedy. Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film.
Its their rich, natural performances that give the film its best scenes. There’s a compelling energy between the two that lingers whenever they’re apart, making their return to the garden even more enjoyable. Colin Fraser, moviereview.com