César

1936 [FRENCH]

Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 1477

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 30, 2022 at 10:34 PM

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720p.BLU
1.26 GB
946*720
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23.976 fps
2 hr 21 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 6 / 10

maybe one film too many

This film is the third part of Marcel Pagnol's "Fanny Trilogy". They were originally a stage production, then made into three films from 1931-1936. Many years later in 1961, the three films were distilled into one film that was much prettier to look at and was a Hollywood-financed production.

While I loved MARIUS (1931) and Fanny (1932), I found myself falling asleep repeatedly while watching César. Again and again and again, I found myself dozing. At first, I thought I was just tired, but when I stopped the DVD each time I felt wide awake. I think in hindsight my reaction was because after the first few minutes of this movie, the trilogy, for me, was finished. In other words, the story was as complete as it should be and continuing it seemed superfluous. The 1961 Fanny film ended there, but continuing was probably, in hindsight, not the best decision. I honestly feel that the average viewer could see MARIUS and FANNY without having to see César. It just didn't seem necessary or compelling.

As far as performances and writing go, Raimu, who played Marius' father, was a marvelous actor and was excellent in all three movies. He was also fantastic in Pagnol's film La FEMME DU BOULANGER. An amazing talent. Also, Pagnol has written some amazing films apart from this series--try to see them all. It's just that of all of his work and the books I have read by him, my least favorite is César.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 9 / 10

Love and humanity

All the three films in Marcel Pagnol's Marseille trilogy ('Marius', 'Fanny' and 'Cesar') are well worth watching, personally would go as far as calling them must sees. All three are wonderful in their own way, though all the great things about the trilogy and what makes it special are present in each film. To me, they are important films in regard to French cinema and early talkie film-making and are a few of the finest examples of somebody with theatrical origins moving into film and became important.

'Cesar', the only one of the Marseille trilogy to not be directly based on the play, is the third and final film in the trilogy and a great way to end it. It is not quite as good as my personal favourite 'Marius', but is on the same level as 'Fanny' for generally the same reasons. Despite having occasional story problems, 'Cesar' (named after one of my favourite characters of the trilogy) is the most human, most understated and most moving of the three perhaps and benefits greatly from having Pagnol in the director's chair again and the original cast returning yet again.

It though does have the slightest story of the three films in the trilogy and the only one to feel slightly contrived on occasions. That is my only complaint though.

Like 'Marius' and 'Fanny', 'Cesar' looks lovely and surprisingly evocative. In fact all the great things of those two films are here, for the same and different reasons. Scotto returns as composer and his score is equally as whimsical and charming. Did appreciate that 'Cesar' did have a much better beginning than that of 'Fanny' and that it got to the point much quicker.

There is some nice wit in the writing, the dialogue can be described in the same way as the dialogue in the previous two films. It succeeds in the humorous elements and even more so the emotional moments, balancing both well while having more of the latter. Did love how understated and compassionate the story was.

Which added to the poignancy and humanity of one of the most easy to root for love stories in early talkies. The characters are still compellingly real and their situations are still relatable and relevant now, did find that what happens resonated with me. Pagnol's direction is never too static or theatrical, he stays true to his roots while opening up the drama enough so it does feel cinematic.

Fanny is slightly underdeveloped again, but again that is namely down to the deeper characterisations of the other characters. Especially Cesar. The acting is great again, especially Raimu giving perhaps his best performance of the trilogy and he was astounding in 'Marius' and 'Fanny' as well.

Concluding, great and a more than worthy end to a wonderful trilogy of films. 9/10

Reviewed by ElMaruecan82 8 / 10

One third "Marius", one third "Fanny", one third "César" and finally, a big "Marseille Pagnol" third !

(and before you criticize my math abilities, remember what César said "it all depends on the size of the thirds!")

In one of Asterix' first adventures published in the early 60's, an innkeeper from Massilia (Marseilles) was named Cesar Labeldecadix and was an unmistakable homage to Raimu's namesake icon and three of the customers were well-drawn nods to his bridge, boules and life pals. That's how impacting the 'Marseilles' trilogy was, a cinematic mistral that reached the two coasts of America from Broadway to Hollywood. Today, it doesn't even take a passion for movies to be aware of names like César, Marius or Fanny, landmarks of French culture channeling the Smell of the Mediterranean waterfront and the taste of Pastis.

But there's more than colorful chanting accents and evocative countryside in the popularity of these characters. After watching both "Marius" and "Fanny", I believe the key of their appeal is three-dimensional characterization in the sense that every personality can be defined on three levels: how it perceives itself, how the others see it and how WE look at it, and these perceptions are not frozen in time but change over the course of the trilogy as the constant flow of human contradictions unfold on both a comedic or tragic level. The people of Marcel Pagnol grow on us and while we don't always approve, we understand, or at least, forgive. Because that's another strength of the trilogy, all the characters are flawed… but never unlikable.

So we left Fanny as the new Mrs. Honoré Panisse, the old man brought both wealth and name to a baby of then-uncertain future, Marius' son. And when the real father discovered the secret, the old man himself told him to stay away from Fanny and not ruin the fragile equilibrium they barely reached. Five years separate "Fanny" and "César", the only opus not to be based on play. Marcel Pagnol had a long mental block until a 90-year old woman begged for a conclusion, the poor woman didn't want to die "without knowing", inspiration blossomed in the mind of Pagnol. And what better starting point than the coming death and necessary confession of one of the key players of a noble scheme.

"César" begins twenty years later after "Fanny" with poor embedded Panisse preparing for death. Again, Pagnol knows how to infuse a bittersweet taste to the toughest realities, whether in Panisse' lucidity, in the interaction between a doctor and a priest, or César wondering about the hazardous nature of religion. Panisse has no time for philosophy, he only wishes to die with his secret, as the father of his son Césariot, relieved from the burden of a revelation. So he dies, and while the funeral is an opportunity for a nice comedic interlude, it's only during their next bridge game that the sight of an empty chair breaks César's heart, and this time, it's not a figure of speech. As Mr. Brun states (one of the film's best quote): "an empty chair is sadder than a grave".

This moment is perhaps the emotional peak before the second act focuses almost entirely on Césariot. I knew the film would have to deal with the revelation (and Fanny tells him the truth right away) but from the title, I expected César to have a more preeminent role. I guess Césariot (André Fouché) didn't have time to grow on me since he literally grew up between two movies. And because he was raised by an overbearing father and an overcompensating mother (who loved him as Marius' son), he was obviously a spoiled child whose education turned him into an outcast. Even during a heartfelt conversation with César, I was less feeling a generational than a cultural clash. To put it simply, I didn't like the kid.

I know there are attenuating circumstances to his lack of appeal, but I blame his character for being responsible for the movie's drop of pace, which is ironic since this is the first film of the trilogy directed by Monsieur Marcel Pagnol himself. But since it wasn't a play first, Pagnol took it as an opportunity for more outdoors sequences, yet the trilogy has always been about verbal delights so the gruff aura of Raimu is severely missing in the second part. Ultimately, Césariot is only a catalysis agent allowing Marius to come back in the picture, and set our minds and hearts to the epic conclusion the trilogy needed. And the last ten minutes were the perfect finale.

Through Marius and Fanny, we have characters that are again touchingly ambiguous and whose flaws and shameful secrets reveal deeper connections with our own psyche, they're like us after all, and that's why we love them. Fanny admits having waited, even expected Panisse to die earlier so she might get back to Marius. And good old Marius doesn't even read between the lines, or doesn't want to, although he had clearly regretted his previous actions. Marius needed time to think a little bit and was about to go if it wasn't for César's providential interference, by jamming the car's engine, thus providing the perfect kick-off to a romance that had a false start twenty years before.

And it's only fair, given the film's title that the one who ties things together is wise and far-sighted César, the soul of a deep and eloquent human comedy. I wouldn't call the last film the best, but it does exactly what a last film should do, it is conclusive and in a very satisfactory way. As for César, well, you're probably familiar with the French equivalent of the Oscars, yes, the name César was an homage to the sculptor of the same name who designed the iconic statuette, but I refuse to believe in a coincidence, if there ever was a name to define the ultimate achievement on the field of acting, César it had to be.

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