Auteuil talks with his gardener
by Fabien Lemercier
After half of the six weeks spent on planning, shooting of Jean Becker’s feature film Dialogue avec mon jardinier (lit. "Conversations With My Gardener") will continue for five more days in the Rhône-Alpes region before making its way to Paris, where filming will end on July 8.
Starring Daniel Auteuil and Jean-Pierre Darroussin, alongside Alexia Barlier, Fanny Cottençon, Elodie Navarre and Hiam Abbass, the film, an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Henri Hueco, is the story of the friendship that develops between a painter (Auteuil) and his gardener (Darroussin), two gruff characters that are complete opposites.
Conflicts between a cosmopolitan and cultured artist and a simple man of the land, who is intimated and amused by complex ideas, gradually become apparent through their discussions. Employer and employee exchange opinions and reflect on life, its pleasures, nature, beauty, art, love, travelling, death, heaven, desire and regret in an unusual and moving story of an encounter that oscillates between philosophy and poetry, co-scripted by Becker, Jacques Monnet and Jean Cosmos.
Dialogue avec mon jardinier is Becker’s tenth feature film. The 68 year-old director made four films from 1961-66, then had a break before making a sensational comeback in 1983 with One Deadly Summer, which competed at Cannes. His most recent films have all been theatrical successes, especially The Children of the Marshland (1999), which earned him a nomination for a César for Best Director, and Strange Gardens (1m admissions in 2003).
Produced by Louis Becker (the director’s son) for the Paris-based company ICE3, the €8.5m Dialogue avec mon jardinier received pre-sales and co-production investments from France 2 Cinéma, as well as backing from Rhône-Alpes Cinéma.
(Translated from French)
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