Lincoln Green 23 Jan 2014
Image © Raidarmax
[The review contains plot details]
The film was released in 2011, its title connected more with the hugely popular song of that name first released in the 1960s and sung by Pascal Danel than with the Henry King’s 1952 film based on the Hemingway short story. Directed and part written by Robert Guédiguian, recently described by the chair of a local Film Club as “a French Ken Loach”, left-wing sympathies are apparent as the film explores the dilemmas of a mature trade union activist when his principles are confronted by his emotional responses to a violent robbery.
The film begins with Michel (played by Jean-Pierre Darroussin) organising a lottery of dock workers in Marseille which determines those who will be made redundant. He himself is one of the twenty selected and one of the film’s minor themes is an exploration of “an old man coming to terms with his weaknesses” at the end of full-time employment when there is a profound change in the role which has determined his life to date. In his intimations of mortality he effectively sees the snows within which Gregory Peck’s earlier character reviews his life, and which the song claims “will make you a white coat, where soon you can sleep”. Read more of this post