8 films to rediscover the atmosphere of family reunions

A family resemblance, by Cédric Klapisch

Where to see it? Apple TV +, iTunes Store

Featured : Jean-Pierre Bacri (We know the song, The taste of Others), Catherine Frot (Daisy, The flavors of the palace), Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Le Havre, The presentiment) and Agnès Jaoui (Public place, Like a picture)

Four times winner of the César for best original or adaptation screenplay, the duo of Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri have mastered the art of replies and scenarios leading to verbal confrontation. In A family resemblance, the brothers, the sister, the mother, the sister-in-law and even the colleague give themselves to their heart’s content to prick each other, to say frankly what they think. To our great happiness, we witness their untimely games and their underlying benevolence.

The Tenenbaum family, by Wes Anderson

Where to see it? Disney +, Google Play, iTunes Store, The Criterion Channel, YouTube

Featured : Gene Hackman (Enemy of the State, Unforgivable), Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron man 3, Contagion), Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, One night at the museum), Owen Wilson (The French Dispatch, series Loki) and many others

The representation of the family in Wes Anderson’s universe is anything but close to reality. The Tenenbaum family is a convincing example: we follow three gifted children who have become maladjusted adults, who gather around the supposedly dying father who fled his family for more than 20 years. These cheerfully typed characters, who form a motley but coherent clan, try to get closer to each other. A tasty colorful comedy that makes us accept our differences with the members of our own families.

Wild flowers, by Jean Pierre Lefebvre

Where to see it? illico, iTunes Store

Featured : Pierre Curzi (Chorus, The Decline of the American Empire), Michèle Magny (O or the invisible child, Taurus) and Marthe Nadeau (The last engagement, JA Martin photographer)

Family stories are legion in Quebec cinema. We don’t have to think about Plouffe, by Gilles Carle, at Leolo, by Jean-Claude Lauzon, to Gas bar blues, by Louis Bélanger, or to CRAZY, by Jean-Marc Vallée. It is worth discovering the one presented to us by a less well-known filmmaker, Jean Pierre Lefebvre, who, during the summer holidays, follows a family unit experiencing difficulties in communicating. International Critics’ Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1982, this drama full of good feelings touches us with its great humanity.

Fanny and Alexandre, by Ingmar Bergman

Where to see it? itunes store

Featured : Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Ewa Fröling (Millennium, Sally och friheten) and Allan Edwall (The sacrifice, Source)

Sum and final masterpiece by Swedish filmmaker and playwright Ingmar Bergman, Fanny and Alexandre allows us to see the family through the eyes of a child. In this partly autobiographical film, Bergman revisits his past by evoking his love of the theater, a real escape that has helped him overcome certain trials. From memories of a gargantuan Christmas evening with a fantasized loving father who will tragically die until the arrival of an authoritarian stepfather, the strength of this timeless drama is to succeed in immersing us in our own experiences.

Summer time, by Olivier Assayas

Where to see it? The Criterion Channel

Featured : Juliette Binoche (A life in height, Three colors: Blue), Charles Berling (She, Ridiculous), Jérémie Renier (Slalom, Cloclo) and Edith Scob (The future, Holy Motors)

Released on our screens in 2009, a few months after the formidable A Christmas story, by Arnaud Desplechin, who skillfully portrayed a family who loved to hate each other, Summer time features a harmonious clan jostled during the steps for the succession following the death of the mother. This beautiful film recalls many classics of French cinema on siblings, including Snowy in may, by Louis Malle, adding a touch of hope at the end of the story.

Wonders, by Alice Rohrwacher

Where to see it? BAnQ, Public Cinema, iTunes Store, Vimeo

Featured : Monica Bellucci (Spectrum, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra), Alba Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro, I am love) and Sam Louwyck (Wild boys, Bullhead)

Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher imagined a family far removed from the traditional models found in several great films from her country. A father, mother and their four daughters make up a self-sufficient home in the Tuscan countryside. This solid nucleus, which lives thanks to the sale of its honey, will be shaken by the arrival of a young delinquent and a reality TV show in the village. This nuanced family portrait shows us the effects of the outside world on a tightly woven group, skilfully avoiding all the usual clichés.

Still walking, by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Where to see it? The Criterion Channel

Featured : Hiroshi Abe (Hokusai, After the storm), Yui Natsukawa (Zatoïchi, the samurai, Distance) and Kirin Kiki (A family affair, Tokyo delights)

The family, which occupies a central place in many dramas of Japanese cinema, is at the heart of director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s approach. Before winning the Palme d’Or with A family matter, in 2018, he was able to develop his gentle approach to mother-son and father-son relationships, and explore their different realities. In Still walking, a son accompanied by his wife and children returns to the fold after the death of his brother. A lot of light and wisdom emanates from this camera, despite the dramatic subject matter and the unsaid.

A family weekend, by Jodie Foster

Where to see it? Google Play, iTunes Store, YouTube

Featured : Holly Hunter (the series Succession, The piano lesson), Anne Bancroft (The great hopes, The winner), Charles Durning (The chicken cage, A doggy afternoon) and Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Endgame, Zodiac) and many others

For our neighbors to the south, Thanksgiving is both an important celebration and the ideal context to stage both drama and comedy. Actress Jodie Foster chose to turn to dramatic comedy for her second feature film as a director; So here we are, mingled with the unpredictable dynamics of the Larsons for a long weekend of festivities. Although some characters are slightly stereotypical, it’s impossible not to recognize a cousin or an aunt among this host of endearing personalities.

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8 films to rediscover the atmosphere of family reunions