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Unashamedly old fashioned in its style, The Well Digger’s Daughter is set around World War II, with Auteuil himself playing the well digger of the film’s title. One of his daughters, meanwhile, is Patricia, and it’s she who begins a short relationship with the son of a wealthy family. He soon disappears, she discovers that she’s pregnant, and from there, the film’s core drama ensues.
You’d hardly call The Well Digger’s Daughter a hard-nosed tail, though, with Auteuil opting for a gentle tone, and an unfussy style for his feature. He recruits a strong cast, too, not least Astrid Berges-Frisbey, who previously made her Hollywood debut in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
To Auteuil’s credit, it’s a beautifully shot film, one that gently deals with issues of class and standing, even if it’s never got any intention of landing a heavy punch. Still, the film is ultimately a strong, well-mounted production, albeit one that might not linger too long in your brain afterwards. It really is lovely to look at, though. --Jon Foster