The Return of Martin Guerre | Chicago Reader

The Return of Martin Guerre

Set in 16th-century France, Daniel Vigne's film is about a peasant (Gerard Depardieu) who returns to his wife (Nathalie Baye) and family after nine years at war. Initially, everyone is happy to see how the experience has changed him—he's stronger and more mature—but when he demands a bigger share of the family land, his relatives decide that Martin isn't Martin at all, but an impostor. Vigne is one of several contemporary French filmmakers who have returned to the long-despised “Tradition of Quality,” and his film is about as good as this kind of thing can be—an intriguing story, excellent performances, fine period detail, lovely cinematography—without really having the personal force of a work of art.

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