French Film Review: The Rose Maker

French Film Review: The Rose Maker

Gifted and eccentric horticulturalist Eve Vernet (Catherine Frot) honours her father’s legacy by continuing the family business, breeding exquisite roses that compete in shows all over France.

But her stubbornly artisanal approach struggles to compete with the mass market production from her corporate rivals. Facing imminent bankruptcy, Eve’s trusted assistant Vera (Olivia Côte) makes a last-ditch effort to turn things around by secretly hiring three new employees from a prison rehabilitation programme.

Fred (Melan Omerta), Samir (Fatsah Bouyahmed) and Nadège (Marie Petiot) are bursting with fresh ideas, strong work ethics and absolutely no gardening skills. After resisting the newcomers’ presence, Eve warms up to their idiosyncrasies, and, banding together, the team comes up with a zany and risky plan to try and save the business. This is a charming, light-hearted film just perfect for a spot of summer viewing and much-loved French actress Catherine Frot, who has received 10 César nominations throughout her career, imparts her trademark subtle comic delivery, leading the sparky cast with aplomb.

This is the first time a film has focused on the growing of roses and director Pierre Pinaud says the idea came from his childhood. “I was about 11 years old when my grandparents offered my brother and me a corner of their garden, giving us carte blanche to do whatever we wanted there,” he said. “To have a piece of land of your own when you are a kid… what a wonderful gift! We immediately began to imagine and design our ideal garden, a garden like a kind of Eden.” Pinaud says he hopes The Rose Maker will leave audiences thinking that the quest for beauty can justify devoting our lives to it.

“If I had to pick a line as an epigraph for my film,” he said, “it would be this one, by the Belgian rose creator Louis Lens: ‘Whoever devotes himself to the passion of beauty will never waste his life’.”

Director: Pierre Pinaud
Starring: Catherine Frot, Olivia Côte, Melan Omerta

From France Today magazine

Lead photo credit : The Rose Maker still

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