Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dombais et fils (2007)

Based on Charles Dicken's Dombey and Son, this 2 part miniseries made by France is actually the best period drama movie I have ever seen. I don't know if it's true to the original novel since I have not read it, but judging from appearance, it is very beautiful.

The writer & director did a wonderful job. With the help of a narrator, it's easy to follow the story and learn about each character in the movie. Charles Dombais (Christophe Malavoy), the owner of Dombais & Son, is a rich widower with 2 children: Florence and her little brother Paul. Mr. Dombais has much hope in his son to follow his step, because without Paul, the name Dombais & Son has only half a meaning. He ignores Florence because she is a girl. Florence herself loves his father very much, and since he ignores her, she gives all her love to her only brother. One day, she ruins her father's hat and goes out of the house to buy him a new one, gets lost, and is saved by Arthur and his two uncles, who own an abandoned theatre. Florence and Arthur will fall in love with each other, although it's impossible Mr. Dombais will ever give his daughter to the poor boy.

Mr. Dombais is an arrogant man and very stubborn. He looks down on women, but his views will change when his two closest friends, all male, betray him. All through the years, only his daughter stands by him and Mr. Dombais's eyes finally open and see that the only daughter whom he has despised, is worth more than any son. One of the maids, Suzanne, represents the audience's feeling. Whenever she has had enough of how the aristocrats behave, she throws her anger to a painting or something.

Best moment: Florence (Déborah François - always sad and melancholic here) plays the piano and sings Berceuse L'Oiseau d'or. "Do you remember the bird dream? The bird of gold. "


Christine said...

Beautiful description of the story!Dickens is one of my favorite novelists of all time,though i haven't ready "Dombais and son" yet.I'm looking for the french tv adaptation for quite a time and having seen only a few clips,i think it's wonderful.Do you know perhaps where i can watch it online?

Inge said...

I myself watched it on TV5. Don't know if it's available online. Sorry cannot help much :-(