I have a natural bias towards French films with sub-titles, assuming that they will be original or provocative in some way. However, I think the four star rating advertised for The Welldigger’s Daughter was rather generous.
The characters were well cast – you have to love Daniel Auteuil in whatever role he plays, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey in the title role was luscious. The movie made me think how today’s women with dyed hair, painted faces and all their cleavages showing, have missed the point about sexiness. The innocent welldigger’s daughter, Patricia Amoretti, modestly attired, was seduction personified – which is what caused the crisis around which the plot hung.
My quarrel was with the plot. It was Cinderella without the glass slipper – and with an extra-marital pregnancy. Very messy. If you didn’t get all along that perfect Patricia (except for that one lapse) was going to win over the evil business man (welldiggers and their families being inherently good people and wealthy business people being inherently bad, of course) then you must have fallen asleep during the movie. I found staying awake easy – but would have loved the reward of a bit more substance and texture.
We popped down to Cafe Centrale for dinner afterwards – a modestly priced veal marsala for me and a substantial bowl of spaghetti for Iggy. It was fine, accessible, family fare and served with healthy steamed vegetables as part of the dish, which I applaud. Maybe, just like the movie, it was just a little too wholesome.