Conversations with My Gardener

Film Review by Gail Tolley | 15 Nov 2008
Film title: Conversations with My Gardener
Director: Jean Becker
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Release date: 21 November 2008
Certificate: 12A

There’s a sense of déjà vu in this pleasant, yet predictable French drama. Our central character, a painter from Paris, returns to the village where he grew up and hires a gardener who turns out to be a school friend he hasn’t seen since childhood. The film pivots around the renewal of this relationship, as two men with different backgrounds, experiences and outlooks engage and learn from each other. Moments of endearing dialogue keep it engaging for the most part but the idea of the down-to-earth, working-class gardener teaching the well-off Parisian artist a lesson on the true values of life feels somewhat trite. As our protagonist develops along all too familiar lines the film reaches its conclusion with little impact. [Gail Tolley]