The Time of Secrets (TV Movie 2007) Poster

(2007 TV Movie)

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Growing up Pagnol style
dbdumonteil17 June 2007
In the late eighties ,Yves Robert already transferred the first two books of Marcel Pagnol's souvenirs (four volumes in all)"LA Gloire de Mon Père " and "Le Château de Ma Mère ".They were thoroughly enjoyable and the fact that the "Dictionnaire Des Films " gives them only two stars (out of four) speaks volumes about how condescending the French critics are.The IMDb users displayed more enthusiasm ,quite rightly so.

Sadly Yves Robert passed away some years back.The director of this teleplay dutifully steps in his shoes.He imitates RObert's style,which finally was the right thing to do.We have the obligatory voice over,actors who resemble those of the first two episodes ,and of course the luminous landscapes of Pagnol's Provence.

All that concerns Isabelle was integrated by Robert in "le Château de Ma Mère ".It's more detailed here and the father is less handsome than Jean Rochefort who played the alcoholic poet in the Robert film.

We meet again all the usual suspects :Joseph,Augustine,Petit Paul,Lili,Oncle Jules and Rose.But,because we got accustomed to the former actors,the new ones ,although good,are not exactly OUR characters.

The story takes us from the dear Garrigue to the secondary school where Marcel is first ill at ease because he is a scholarship holder and because he went to the grade school (the other bourgeois pupils had probably a private tutor).A fight against a rich kid ,that augurs badly for what is to follow.

(to be followed in "Le Temps des Amours" )
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8/10
Different from My Father's Glory and My Mother's Château
richard-17874 November 2010
If you know La Gloire de mon père and Le château de ma mère, the two movies from 1980 made by the director Yves Robert, the spirit of this made for TV movie will often strike you as different. Yes, there are the scenes with Lili de Belons, and all the wonder of wandering through la garrigue - which, having spent a week doing that myself when I was in la Treille to see the sites of which Pagnol wrote, I know and remember. (Though in this movie, the countryside around La Treille is far more brightly colored than in the two Robert movies, especially the lush greens, a color I did not see when I was there.) This Lili somehow seems less paysan, less different, but the scenes between him and Marcel are still magic. That is different, but still the same.

In other ways, however, the director of this TV film focuses on a decline and unhappiness not present in the first two works. Joseph and Augustine do not get along as well as in the first two works; his eye wanders, and he is not really ashamed of it. Nor does he get along as well with his brother-in-law, Uncle Jules.

At the high school, Marcel encounters students who are physically mistreated by their fathers, which is a whole new world.

Others have mentioned that when this director redoes scenes that had been included in Le Château de ma mère they were not as satisfying, and frankly, that is true. The portraits of the poet, Louis de Montemayor, of Uncle Jules, and some of the other characters, are so wonderful in Le Château de ma mère that, while they are not bad in this movie, they do pale by comparison. Jean Rochefort was great as the poet, and the actor who replaces him here does not come close to equaling that performance. Nor does the actor who takes the role of Uncle Jules here; he is not engaging, as the previous Jules was, he just isn't much of anything.

Other performances, though different, are equally as good. The actor who plays the young Marcel here is very fine, as is the Augustine.

But this is a darker story, and that too is different. Not bad, but different. Joseph is often angry about one thing or another, and the resentment of his brother in law runs deep here, not along religion/non-religion lines, as in the novel and the Robert movies, but along financial lines: Joseph resents Jules' prosperity. And this Jules is a cheat, which he was not in the previous movies.

This movie may come as unsettling for those who know the first two movies, but it is none the less interesting for that.
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8/10
Marcel final two memoirs are wonderful!
OliverGbyrne29 August 2007
I was rather surprised by how good these two made for TV film were,although I must say part 2 was more interesting because part one covers a lot that was used in "Le château de ma mere" by Yve Roberts a movie I have seen to death. Part 1 Le temps des secrets covers Marcel first love with Isabelle a girl leaving in a dream to escape her sad reality.We also see Marcel making new friend at school,including l'agneau a kid who fells miserably in school and cant keep out of problem. There's also Marcel suspicion that his father his flirting with the village baker. Part 1 was a lot of fun but the fact that a huge chunk of the film was already done in a superior way in "My mother's castle" from 1990 might give audience a sense of deja vu. But the second half of the film make out for it , the school life of Marcel was very well translated from the book and the young actor was wonderful and I might say equally as good as the kid who played Marcel in the movies from the early 90's. The storyline as short as it is of Joseph and the Baker was also really well translated from the book and now I have to say something, I never ever taught that anyone could equal Nathalie Roussel as Augustine in my heart but I was wrong Armelle Deutsch was wondefull she is in my opinion the driving force of the two films , she has that much needed sparkle in her eyes every time she talk to her son and the scenes were she fights for her husband to get the Palm Academic were just so touching,it really showed the unconditional love she had for Joseph. The much more interesting Part 2 covers Marcel at 16 who start to work at being a writer. We also see the return of Isabelle who has now a very difficult life.Marcel even if not in love with the young woman anymore wants to help her. There are a lot of heart wrenching moment in this episode of Marcel's life including a moment were l'Agneau tells Marcel about the separation of friendship as two people grow older and interest changes when they step away from childhood.This is a sad reality and the scene were Marcel walk away from L'agneau with a new more compatible friend display that very well. Most of the moment with Isabelle were bittersweet , the girl who played her even dough she did not speak that much did wonderful. The actor who played Marcel as a young adult was also the perfect choice , he had that wise beyond his year type of look that Marcel needed. I love the fact that "petit Paul" took a backseat as I did found him a little bit overused for the cuteness factor in the Robert's film. The only thing I have a problem with is Pierre-François Martin-Laval as Joseph , his accent was not that convincing but that's a small detail. Well two very nice film I did not regret watching. La gloire de mon pere and Le château de ma mere will always be my two favorite films of all time and I appreciated that the new director Thierry Chabert did not go on a total different direction from Roberts while making these two memoirs. I highly recommend these films they have that Pagnol magic that I haven't felt in a long time. Hopefully our English friends will get the chance to see them some day.
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