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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Well-Digger's Daughter aka La Fille du puisatier [Blu-ray]


(Daniel Auteuil, 2011)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Les Films Alain Sarde

Video: Kino Lorber



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:49:30.397

Disc Size: 31,425,379,069 bytes

Feature Size: 29,372,777,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Chapters: 33

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 24th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio French 3931 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3931 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (burned-in), none



• Trailers

Stills Gallery





Description: Twenty-five years after rising to international acclaim in Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, Daniel Auteuil returns to the world of Marcel Pagnol for his first work as director with this celebrated remake of the 1940's classic. Auteuil stars as the eponymous well-digger Pascal, a widower living with his six daughters in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I. His eldest, Patricia (the luminous Astrid Berges-Frisbey), has returned home from Paris to help raise her sisters, and Pascal dreams of marrying her off to his loyal assistant Felipe (Kad Merad). But when she's impregnated by a wealthy young pilot (Nicolas Duvauchelle) who promptly abandons her for the frontlines, Pascal is left to contend with the consequences. An exquisitely crafted, sun-drenched melodrama, set to a score by Academy Award-nominee Alexandre Desplat (The King's Speech), The Well Digger's Daughter captures all the warmth and humanist spirit of Pagnol's original work.



The Film:

Daniel Auteuil is excellent as Pascal, torn between his deep love for his daughter and his desire to do the right thing in society's eyes. Similarly, Astrid Berges-Frisbey (last seen as the sexy mermaid in Pirates 4) is utterly adorable as Patricia and there's terrific support from Kad Merad (heart-breaking as a middle-aged simple soul with a heart of gold), Emilie Cazenave (as Pascal's daughter Amanda, who's secretly in love with Felipe) and the always-excellent Jean-Pierre Darroussin.

The script is excellent, with elaborate, yet precise dialogue that centres around the propriety involved in doing the right thing for all concerned – the confrontations between Auteuil and Darroussin play out like duels of impossibly polite eloquence. The film is also beautifully shot, with Auteuil drenching the countryside setting in gorgeous sunlight.

Excerpt from ViewLondon located HERE

A bitter class war erupts between two families after the daughter of a humble well digger is impregnated by the son of a wealthy shopkeeper. Aging widower Pascale Amoretti (Daniel Auteuil) works hard to provide for his six daughters. As the first shots of World War I are fired, his eldest daughter Patricia (Astrid Bergés-Frisbey) returns home from Paris to help raise her younger siblings. Meanwhile, Pascale wants to see Patricia marry his longtime assistant Felipe (Kad Merad), a hard worker who would make a loving husband. But shortly after arriving back home, Patricia has a fling with Jacques Mazel (Nicolas Duvauchelle), a fighter pilot from a wealthy family, who then disappears to the front lines after getting Patricia pregnant. At first, the Mazels are furious, accusing the impoverished Amorettis of using the situation to stake a claim on their fortune. When Jacques goes missing in action, however, the Mazels quickly realize that Patricia's unborn child may be their only link to the son who sacrificed his life fighting for their country.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Well-Digger's Daughter looks very impressive on Blu-ray from Kino/Lorber.  The image quality is extremely sharp with brilliant colors - especially the French countryside greens and yellows. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. Skin tones seem true and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. Daylight scenes dominate and are the most impressive. This Blu-ray has a no noise or artefacts.  Overall the image is highly pleasing - producing a strong presentation. This Blu-ray does a great job of exporting the film's visual attributes.


















Audio :

The robust DTS-HD Master surround at a whopping 3931 kbps easily handles all the film's, mostly passive, audio. The original music is by Alexandre Desplat and stays comfortably in the background. The closing opera piece is a nice touch. The subtitles (see sample) are burned-in and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only trailers and a stills gallery as supplements.



The Well-Digger's Daughter is a very nice film. Auteuil is fabulous - both his acting and slight re-telling of the story. It's a beautiful film and the Blu-ray delivers on that front - and despite its bare-bones status - we recommend. A very happy and enjoyable film experience. 

Gary Tooze

December 15th, 2012



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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