Release date: 05/04/2007
Release details: Limited National Release.
Duration: 112 mins
Genre: Romantic Drama
Director: Xavier Giannoli
Lead actor: Gerard Depardieu
Cast: Cecile De France, Mathieu Amalric, Christine Citti, Patrick Pineau and Alain Chanone
Producer: Mark Canton, Bernie Goldman, Gianni Nunnari and Jeffrey Silver
Screenplay: Xavier Giannoli
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Distributor: Palace Films
More information: Subtitled in English
Review by David Stratton
Alain Moreau, (GERARD DEPARDIEU), is an entertainer in the old style. In his 50s, overweight and not in the best of health after a lifetime of smoking and debauchery, he’s a popular figure in Clerment Ferrand, in the centre of France, where he has a loyal following for the familiar songs he sings at weddings and other functions. His ex-wife, CHRISTINE CITTI, is now his manager and looks after him; they sleep together occasionally. But then Alain becomes smitten by a newcomer in town, the much younger Marion, (CECILE de FRANCE), a single mother who isn’t at all sure about their relationship. The lovely thing about this film, which is written and directed by Xavier Giannoli, is the deftness with which it avoids all the obvious clichés. There’ve been umpteen films made about middle-aged men involved with women half their age and at first you assume THE SINGER will be another of them. But things are kept fresh thanks not only to the effortlessly good performances of Gerard Depardieu – his best in quite a while – and the lovely Cecile de France, but also the graceful way Giannoli explores this small-town world filled with lonely, unfulfilled people. Perhaps the ending disappoints a little, but overall this is a truthful and touching exploration of an inherently unexpected relationship.