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I'm Going Home (2001)

Cast: Michel Piccoli, Michel Piccoli, Antoine Chappey, more...
Director: Manoel De Oliveira, Manoel De Oliveira
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Foreign, France, Portugal
Running Time: 83 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A man who's been confronted with new responsibilities must decide what to do with his career in this drama with comic undertones. Gilbert Vance (Michel Piccoli) is an aging but highly respected actor who, after completing a performance of Eugene Ionesco's Exit the King in which he plays opposite an attractive and talented actress named Sylvie Leonor Silveira, receives devastating news -- his wife, his daughter, and her husband have all perished in an automobile accident. Vance becomes the guardian of his grandson, and as he learns to live without his loved ones, the boy soon becomes his best and most rewarding reason for getting through the days. Vance returns to work playing Prospero in a well-received production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, and after the successful run, Vance's agent (Antoine Chappey) is flooded with offers for the actor's services. But the majority of the projects are highly dubious, and Vance ends up rejecting most of them, though he takes a role in a screen adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses directed by American filmmaker John Crawford (John Malkovich), even though he knows he's miscast. As Vance ponders retirement, his agent also passes along another sort of offer -- Sylvie has confided that she's very much attracted to Vance, but while she's more than interested in an affair, Vance isn't sure that he wants a new relationship in his life. Catherine Deneuve also appears in a supporting role as an actress working with Vance. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

God Speed by talltale July 16, 2008 - 4:08 PM PDT
I'M GOING HOME promises much and delivers little, in the process asking the embarrassing question whether its director, the 94-year-old Manuel De Oliveira, should still be making movies. I have enjoyed with reservations some of the prolific Portuguese moviemaker's output -- and in fact, enjoyed immensely his later film, "A Talking Picture," so I guess all prolific moviemakers are entitled to an occasional flop. To get the full benefit of the "floppiness" on view, the viewer must watch the interview with De Oliveira that's on the CD. In it, the man talks about everything from modern society to the environment, the plague of cell phones and more--as though all of this is present and accounted for in his film. It ain't.

His story of an aging actor who suddenly loses most of his family wastes incredible footage on--first--the last act of Ionesco's EXIT THE KING then a scene from Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, and finally another from an about-to-be filmed version of Joyce's ULYSSES. The first two theatre pieces at least have wonderful dialog, but the Joyce scenes go on to unconscionable lengths while giving the viewer almost nothing except repetition. Yet the actor's bond with his grandson (his only relative who remains alive and a relationship one might imagine is key to the film) remains barely explored. Yes, there are some lovely visuals of Paris; lead actor Piccoli is, as usual, just fine; and it's nice to see Sylvie Testud and Catherine Deneuve in small parts. Yet, when the film is over, you sit there thinking "What?" Then, you watch/listen to the director talk about the movie and--ohmigod--you realize how unknowing and quite post-retirement this man is. Embarrassing and sorrowful do not begin to describe the feeling.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.29)
21 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2001
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
Jonathan Rosenbaum's 2002 recommendations
Original Chicago Reader link. His note says it all: Jonathan Rosenbaum's best-of list nominates those that dared to be original.

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