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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
My brother and his girlfriend bought this for us for Christmas, which we initially thought a surprising gift as we'd never seen (or expressed a wish in seeing) a foreign language film before. Having just watched it, I have to say it was an completely inspired choice. Initially, it's the quality of the cinematography that draws you in, as the landscape of Provence and...
Published on 17 Mar 2008 by Jeremy Walton

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray won't play in any player
This review is only for the Blu-ray discs. They simply won't play in any blu-ray player including PS3, computer blu-ray drive, and several machines I tried in a store.

The movies are fabulous. Alas I will have to wait longer for working hi-def format for these movies.
Published 4 months ago by Kwiptix


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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 17 Mar 2008
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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My brother and his girlfriend bought this for us for Christmas, which we initially thought a surprising gift as we'd never seen (or expressed a wish in seeing) a foreign language film before. Having just watched it, I have to say it was an completely inspired choice. Initially, it's the quality of the cinematography that draws you in, as the landscape of Provence and its wild animals are portrayed at their most beautiful and detailed. Then it's the tale of an idealistic young man moving out of the town to try and make a living in the country with his family, and the way in which his neighbours conspire to thwart him. The story plays out like a Greek tragedy, but over such a generous period of time (watching both films back to back takes around four hours) that you can understand the conflicting feelings of the neighbours in a way that makes the ending both poignant and satisfying. All kinds of big themes are touched on before then: greed, love, kindness, betrayal, sacrifice, regret, dedication, mistrust and prejudice are just some of them, but they're essayed in such an understated way that you never feel that the film is heavyhanded in getting its point across. Since it's impossible to imagine seeing one film without the other, this double set is really the only way to experience this masterpiece.
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128 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular., 11 May 2006
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Mr. R. Vernon (UK) - See all my reviews
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These two combined films are simply the best i have ever seen, by some distance. The first story is poignant, tragic and so well acted, written and directed that it is a masterpiece of itself, but not seeing the second denies you an incredible film experience. By the closing minutes of Manon Des Sources, you should appreciate how much better these masterpieces are than anything hollywood has released for many, many years. With wonderful cinematography and its spectacular soundtrack lifted from Verdi's La forza del destino, these films are hauntingly beautiful, thoroughly gripping and unforgettable.
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89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime and Punishment, 16 Jan 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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If you are going to watch "Jean de Florette", then you should watch "Manon des Sources" straight after it , as it is less a sequel and more of a direct continuation of the first film. Both films tell the tale of greed, underhandedness, toil ,trouble , love and sacrifice in a rural French setting , where the arrival of an urban hunchback Jean (Gerard Depardieu) and his family upset the plans of the devious landowner Cesar (Yves Montand) and his simple, but loyal, nephew Urogin (Daniel Auteuil). Tragedy strikes at the end of "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources" continues the story with the themes of retribution and justice prominent. The acting ,characterisation and cinematography are all excellent and the storyline is engaging and poignant. Both films are rightly regarded as classics of French cinema.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You really do need to see both..., 22 Nov 2005
Released within a year of each other, "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources" (aka "Manon of the Spring") are often viewed and reviewed separately, but the truth is that they're integral parts of a single story which needs to be seen in sequence for its full impact to be revealed.

Set in the 1920's, both explore the stark realities of the tough existence and myopic intrigue that was an integral part of life in the Luberon's stunningly pretty countryside & villages before the march of time transformed them into "must see" tourist destinations. Beautifully filmed and meticulously crafted, their brilliantly effective evocation of the realities of this now lost and very different world elevates each into the category of truly outstanding cinema - visual feasts that re-create what life was really like, good and bad, in what we now see as an "idyllic" time.

And, as entertainment? Well, "Jean de Florette" wins in terms of having the stronger and most obvious "plot", enhanced by Gerard Depardieu's tremendous performance as a man seeking to realise his vision in the face of insurmountable odds. But that is, as "Manon des Sources" reveals, only half the story, for beneath the tragedy of "Jean de Florette" is a much more tragic sequence of events. Slower, more reflective and, in the end, deeply moving, "Manon des Sources" is not simply a "follow-up" but the key to understanding the full story on offer.

Individually each "works" and, as such, stands in its own right as an excellent film, but it is only when seen together that their true power is revealed. You really do need to see both...
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, 21 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. A. Joul (bradford uk) - See all my reviews
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Its hard to think of anything negative about these two excellent films (not going to repeat the story again-there are plenty of reviews here). However its worth noting that the slowness in the pace of these films mirrors the lives and setting of the characters portraid within. If you have the time (4 hours) and patience you see the story unfolding rather than punching you in the face! The ending is one of the best, in that it is unexpected and jaw dropping. Ignore the negativity from other reviews, pseudo experts who hint but fail to suggest of better, buy them and see for yourself, it will be money well spent
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 2 Feb 2009
By 
Love these two films, must see them both to appreciate. Don't normally like watching sub-titled films cause I can't read & watch what's going on at the same time, but I make an exception in this case! Lovely picture quality & fast delivery too!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best French films of the last 20 years, 15 Nov 2006
By 
AJR (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is a fantastic pair of films telling a single story: beautifully photographed, poignant music and an ending that is completely unexpected.

If you don't want to spoil your enjoyment of these films, avoid reading a review of 8 Nov 2006, which recounts the entire story of the first DVD, including its ending.

Let's hope that this reviewer won't write a second review giving away the story of the even more surprising denouement on the second DVD.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Double French Helping, 24 May 2007
A story about a sympathetic hunchback named Jean de Florette (Depardieu), who dreams of a simple life, but his efforts are thwarted by his two neighbors. They wish to buy his land, because they and only they know its true value. The two schemers offer to help Jean, but really they only want to keep close track of what he is doing and has planned so that they may persuade and influence him to that which will not succeed so that he will be forced to sell - to them. To fully appreciate the story and this film, one must see the sequel 'Manon des Sources', where the final ironic tragic ending is revealed. To quote the bible "...am I my brother's keeper", it seems a perfect epithet for this movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Beautiful, 7 May 2008
I bought this as I am a lover of French movies and insisted my mother watch it (though she doesn't usually watch subtitled films). We didn't plan on seeing both (each film is great entertainment in its own right and creates different emotions), my mother couldn't wait for another sitting to see the second one, it's best seen back to back. So what is so great about it? Filmed in the beautiful backdrop of Provence in France, great writing, acting and casted very well, with, Depardieu, Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil, well all the cast giving brilliant performances. With a brilliant story and music score, the plot is written in a way that you can identify with all characters. Even my 5 year old son who would definitely not read the subtitle was captivated by the scenery and music(he happened to be around when I was watching it and I would normally be harrassed to put on a childrens dvd). A great one to pull out from time to time especially on a rainy sunday afternoon, and be captivated. Great value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly superb, 7 Sep 2008
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Prequel and sequel, this duo impressed me big time when I first saw them. Many years later they have lost none of their lustre.

The story is based around "le Bossu" - the hunchback - a naive but dignified would-be farmer who is cheated out of his precious water supply by two crafty locals. They aim to drive down the value of his land and force a distress sale. A prolonged drought sees him ruined but when his daughter discovers the truth she sets about taking revenge...

There are striking performances from all four of the main actors and the filming is beautiful. The heat and scents of Provence are brought right into your living room.

A real pleasure.
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