LA VILLA

France 2018

Synopsis

By a little bay near Marseille lies a picturesque villa owned by an old man. His three children have gathered by his side for his last days: Angela, an actress living in Paris, Joseph, who has just fallen in love with a girl half his age and Armand, the only one who stayed behind in Marseille to run the family’s small restaurant. It’s time for them to weigh up what they have inherited of their father’s ideals and the community spirit he created in this magical place. The arrival, at a nearby cove, of a group of boat people will throw these moments of reflection into turmoil.

Directors Statement

The initial idea was to shoot the film entirely in the Méjean calanque (creek), near Marseille, which has always made me think of a theatre. The colourful little houses built into the hills seem to be no more than façades ... A viaduct overlooks them and its trains look like child’s toys; the openness towards the sea transforms the horizon into a backdrop ... like painted canvases ... especially with the winter light, when everyone has gone. It becomes an abandoned set – melancholy and beautiful. In this open-air ‘bubble’, a few brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends and lovers exchange tons of past love and love yet to come ...
All of these men and all of these women share the same feeling.
They are at a time of life when they have an acute awareness of time passing, of the world changing ...
The paths that they’d opened up are gradually being sealed off.
They must constantly be maintained... or new ones must be opened up.
They know that their world will disappear with them...
They also know that the world will go on without them...
Will it be better, worse?
Thanks to them, because of them?
What will be left of them when they go?
In this situation, suddenly, something happens that may radically overturn all of these thoughts, a kind of Copernican revolution: child survivors from a wrecked boat are hiding in the hills. They are two brothers and a sister, like an echo of Joseph, Armand, and Angèle, and that brings a sense of fraternity back into play, since they decide to keep these children with them.
I believe in this encounter. There is something about “globalisation” that naturally relates to the future.
Though I exaggerate, I’d say that I couldn’t make a film today without talking about refugees: we are living in a country where people are drowning at sea on a daily basis. I deliberately choose the word “refugees”. I don’t care whether it’s due to climate change, for reasons,or because of a war – they are coming in search of a shelter, a hearth.
With these three little ones arriving, perhaps the calanque will be revived? Angèle, Joseph, and Armand will stay there with these three children to raise, and they’re going to try to make the restaurant, the hillside community, and their worldview survive ...
And keep up the connections between a few people... and in that way, maintain peace.

Director's Biography

Committed filmmaker Robert Guédiguian celebrates his home city of Marseille in his film and examines the history of those whom he calls, just as Victor Hugo did, “the poor”. His first feature films in the 80s, ROUGE MIDI, LAST SUMMER and TIL DEATH DO US PART, were critically acclaimed. The public discovered him thanks to MARIUS AND JEANETTE, which won the Louis-Delluc Prize, and competed in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 1997. Among the twenty or so films he directed are MARIE-JO AND HER TWO LOVERS (2002), THE LAST MITTERAND (2004), JOURNEY TO ARMENIA, a search for origins (2007), LADY JANE (2008), ARMY OF CRIME (2009), THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO (2011) and DON'T TELL ME THE BOY WAS MAD (2014).

Filmography:
2017 - THE HOUSE BY THE SEA
2015 - DON’T TELL ME THE BOY WAS MAD
2014 - ARIANE’S THREAD
2011 - THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO
2009 - ARMY OF CRIME
2008 - LADY JANE
2006 - ARMENIA
2005 - THE LAST MITTERRAND
2004 - MY FATHER IS AN ENGINEER
2002 - MARIE-JO AND HER TWO LOVERS
2001 - THE TOWN IS QUIET
2000 - CHARGE!
1998 - WHERE THE HEART IS
1997 - MARIUS AND JEANNETTE
1995 - TILL DEATH DO US PART
1993 - MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS
1990 - GOD THROWS UP THE LUKEWARM
1985 - KI LO SA
1984 - RED MIDI
1981 - LAST SUMMER
 | 

Cast & Crew

Directed by : Robert Guediguian

Written by : Serge Valletti, Robert Guediguian

Produced by : Marc Bordure, Robert Guediguian

Director of Photography : Pierre Milon

Editor : Bernard Sasia

Production Design : Michel Vandestien

Costume Design : Anne-Marie Giacalone

Hair & Make up Artist : Hermia Hamzaoui

Sound Design : Laurent Lafran

Main Cast : Ariane Ascaride (Angèle), Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Joseph), Anaïs Demoustier (Bérangère), Gerard Meylan (Armand), Jacques Boudet (Martin), Robinson Stévenin (Benjamin)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2018