Marius and Jeannette | Chicago Reader

Marius and Jeannette

Marius (Gerard Meylan) works as the security guard at a Marseilles construction site that doesn't seem to need much guarding until Jeannette (Ariane Ascaride), an outspoken mother of two who's on the brink of losing a lousy job, tries to make off with some cans of paint. Her neighbor Caroline (Pascale Roberts) is a concentration camp survivor who says she lives with gusto because she learned to live in fear; she's the most blatant symbol of this 1997 movie's point that the human capacity for joy may be a function of the rigors of survival. Marius and Jeannette, who've suffered emotionally and economically, experience happiness during the course of this midlife love story apparently because they deserve it—an argument whose force is diluted by pop psychology about why each has found it hard to love. Director Robert Guediguian wrote the screenplay with Jean-Louis Milesi.

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