In the mid-1980s, two French dramas, Jean de Florette
and its sequel, Manon of the Spring
, took the film world by storm and swept up numerous Cesars. Adaptations of one giant seminal novel by French writer/director/novelist Marcel Pagnol, the sagas wove an epic tale of greed, betrayal, and family loyalty in rural France.
The Well-Digger’s Daughter comes billed as a follow-up to those two earlier classics, and will invite innumerable comparisons, for it has some of the same pedigree. Adapted from another Pagnol work -- this one an original screenplay that he wrote and directed in 1940 -- it was helmed by, scripted by, and stars the talented...