“Hunting And Gathering” – the travesty surrounding the film’s non-U.S. theatrical release. The French movie “Hunting And Gathering,” from acclaimed director Claude Berri (“Jean De Florette”) has opened in every English speaking country, including Australia, except the United States. And the fact that the film has not been picked up by a U.S. distributor shows just how apathetic studios, not the movie going public, have gotten. (See: the French film – based on a NY Times best selling American novel – and its 2008 US tally).
What makes the fact that “Hunting And Gathering” does not yet have a US distributor even more shocking is that the movie stars Audrey Tautou, a recognizable name in the United States. Audrey Tautou was the star of “Amelie” and costarred opposite Tom Hanks in “The DaVinci Code” and appears opposite Tom Hanks, again, in the prequel to “The DaVinci Code,” the upcoming
Furthermore, the director of “Hunting And Gathering,” Claude Berri, is responsible for two of the most successful French movie at the U.S. movie box office – in history – “Jean De Florette” and its sequel, “Manon of the Spring.” US movie lovers know who he is and would flock to the art houses that showcase the movie. (Oh. Almost forgot that most arthouses are figments of the imagination, now that there is a multiplex on every corner, showing “The Dark Knight” or the most current movie on 8 of its 20 screens).
“Hunting And Gathering” – the story. From master director Claude Berri (Jean de Florette) and starring two of France’s brightest young stars, Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet, comes an enchanting romantic fable about a collection of misfits in Paris.
Camille (Audrey Tautou) is doing her best to disappear. She barely eats, works at night as a cleaner, and lives in a tiny unheated attic in an 18th century apartment building that also houses the ornate apartment of the stuttering aristocrat Philibert (Laurent Stocker.)
Philibert, who sells postcards outside a museum, is every bit the gentleman when called upon by circumstances. His penchant for helping people is realised when he rescues Camille from her freezing garret one evening and invites her to stay. But Philibert already has an unlikely flat mate Franck (Guillaume Canet), a moody young chef, made more obnoxious by the guilt he experiences for putting his beloved grandmother Paulette (Francoise Bertin) into a home.
“Hunting And Gathering” is the story of this curious quartet. Without each other, Camille, Franck, Philibert and Paulette’s lives feel empty, but through one another they rediscover their passion for life and learn to face the world.
Gorgeously original, full of wry humour and razor-sharp observation, redolent of Paris, its foibles, its food and its deserted corners, “Hunting And Gathering” is a universal story of human connection and the nurturing spirit of human relationships.