The House by the Sea

Screening on 01/05/20

France 2017
Dir: Robert Guédiguian
Starring: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darrousin, Gérard Meylan, Anaïs Demoustier
Cert 12A
107 mins

When elderly restaurateur Marcel is paralysed by a stroke, his middle-aged children assemble at his villa, overlooking a small bay near Marseille. Marcel and his son Armand had always believed in providing good local cuisine at affordable prices, resisting the temptation of turning the restaurant into a lucrative tourist trap. The arrival of Armand’s brother Joseph and sister Angèle from Paris provokes much reminiscing about the past and bickering over the future as they bemoan the gentrification of their childhood idyll which has driven out many of the original inhabitants. Joseph is a veteran left-wing activist, but not so his much younger girlfriend for whom the restaurant represents a potential goldmine. Angèle, a successful actress, has mixed feelings about the family home, her happy memories interwoven with tragedy. Finally the personal and the political are unexpectedly jolted into perspective by a small-scale humanitarian crisis. Tender and compassionate, ‘The House by the Sea’ is a quiet celebration of what really matters in life.