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Short summary

Alessandro teaches musicology at the university of Strasbourg. He is also a volunteer reader in hospitals. He shares his apartment with his daughter, 15-year-old Irina, and his anarchist brother Luigi. Life is not always rosy at Alessandro's for three main reasons : he is a widower and has never really recovered from the death of his young wife ; his brother is some kind of parasite who refuses to sell his paintings to capitalist speculators and so to contribute to the cost of the household ; Irina, whom he has raised alone since she was five months old and always felt close to, is rapidly changing from little girl to teenager and wishes to be treated as such. One day, Florence, a beautiful young woman, gets into Alessandro's life. Will he eventually take his chances with her? And will he manage to stop stifling Irina? And will he finally get on with Luigi?

French visa # 125072.

Swiss censorship visa # 1008.278.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Mr.mclav
    Philippe Claudel is a multi-talented artist but a pessimistic one , whether as a novelist (his last book, "L'enquête"being a hopeless statement on today's working world), a playwright (the poetic but dark portrait of a lost man in "Le paquet"), a scriptwriter ("Les âmes grises" and its description of personal tragedies set against the historical tragedy of World War I) and a film maker (his first movie "Il y a longtemps que je t'aime" examines the difficult reunion of two sisters after one of them has spent fifteen years in prison). But, for his second movie as a director, "Tous les soleils", he has changed his tune, opting for a much lighter tone. Quite rightly so insofar as humankind does not come down to misery and suffering, a state of things which great names like Shakespeare and Corneille - among others - have perfectly understood. Even such a deeply desperate artist as Ingmar Bergman went along with the sound rule of occasionally resorting to comedy (the delightful "Smiles of a Summer Night" for example), thus sticking more closely to the lot of the human condition than by systematically emphasizing its absurdities and miseries. Of course, Philippe Claudel's option of a feel-good approach does not mean that he has suddenly put on rose-colored spectacles. What "Tous les soleils" is about is no less than... life and death, the end of life, widower-hood, serious illness, father-teenage relationship, family, love, art, politics, Berlusconi and accepting or rejecting an unjust world.! Hard to stomach if you are content to read this list, but very easy to follow when told by a warm and playful story-teller like writer- director Claudel. All these topics are indeed harmoniously blended into a very simple story line, which the general public will not find hard to follow. It concerns Alessandro, a musicology professor at the Strasbourg University, whose everyday life is, without being tragic, no pleasure cruise. The man has mourned his wife, killed in a car accident while their daughter Irina was five months old, for more than a decade now and and has never actually been able to get over this trauma. Since then, he has acted both as a loving father and a mother substitute to Irina but lately has started stifling her for not realizing that she has grown and needs some leeway, hence tensions arising between them. Another bone of contention is the continuous presence under his roof of his anarchist brother Luigi, a fugitive from Berlusconi's Italy. The latter, despite being a much sought-after painter, refuses to sell his paintings to the "capitalists" and brings no money home, another cause for those rows regularly rocking the apartment and driving the neighbors mad. Things tend to evolve the day when, at a funeral, Sandro meets a beautiful woman who moves him at last. Florence, the lady in question, is the estranged daughter of Agathe, an old woman he used to read books to in hospital. Meanwhile, Irina falls for high school student Aurélien. All will end well provided that Alessandro tones it down a bit with Irina..., if Florence leaves her present companion..., and if Berlusconi leaves power!

    The relationships between a single father and his coming of age daughter is far from original of course but Claudel deals with the issue with a refreshingly fine touch. The writer-director deftly manages to avoid the usual clichés and gets from young Lisa Cipriani a very natural, engaging performance. He also succeeds in avoiding being over- sentimental, particularly when he tackles a delicate subject like death (present in outline throughout the film). In this, he is helped by the humorous tone that underlies the whole narrative. Not that the quality of the comedy is always of a high quality, more particularly when it comes to the sequences featuring the female head of department exchanging pornographic e-messages with a correspondent she believes is Alessandro. Most of the time though, the humor bites home, especially in the scenes involving Luigi, played by a deliciously unrestrained Neri Marcori. His ranting and raving against Silvio Berlusconi and his anarchy lessons to the mail-woman, for instance, are killingly funny.

    In this respect, it must be said that a great deal of the pleasure generated by "Tous les soleils" is derived from its Italianity. The choice of two Italian actors to play the two immigrant brothers is perfect : Stefano Accorsi is irresistible as this ordinary man (intellectual but not highbrow) whose unease translates into outbursts and is perfectly complemented by the already mentioned Marcori. Their incessant spats, their permanent restlessness give this French movie shot in Strasbourg a pleasant (and unexpected) Italian comedy overtone.

    On the French side, Anouk Aimée brings her great class to her character, creating the dying woman she embodies with restraint, elegance and depth. And it does not take long to Clotilde Courau, who only appears at the fifty-fifth minute, to exude emotion.

    All in all, Philippe Claudel's second directorial effort, a successful blend of smiles and angst, proves a very satisfying experience, all the more pleasant as the score gives the audiences the opportunity to discover beautiful traditional Italian music, the tarantella. Well,you can do without seeing 'Tous les soleils', but you will feel all the better if you go and see it.
  • comment
    • Author: Ceck
    This is my first movie review, written because I was disappointed with the low ratings by IMDb viewers. It would be a shame if other viewers were dissuaded from seeing this totally absorbing, fast - paced, funny film. "Tous Les Soleils" has many defining moments where the lead actor is presented by the director in multiple interactions with his daughter, live-in brother, friends, colleagues and yes, his dead wife. We join him in his daily routines over what seem to be a few summer months, watching his blunders, confusion, passion and triumphs. I was captivated from the opening scene with this young widower, competently and joyfully winding his way through city streets on his moped. His teaching episodes with his classes of students are joyful, animated demonstrations of his love for baroque music. I was touched by his work with hospital patients and bonded with him in his single parent travails with his teenage daughter. The film has so many attractive, convincing characters to complement the always - engaging lead actors. The backdrop of Strasbourg (we found out later in the film) and countryside is magical and the musical score is perfect. I laughed out loud at the various schemes of the zany brother to protest the "system", including his self-exile in his brother's apartment until the fall of Berlusconi in their native Italy. The combined efforts of our widower's brother, daughter and friends to "match make" are audaciously funny. We share our lead actor's reactions to his daughter growing up, with the transformation of her taking the role of adult in the father - daughter relationship. Yes, ten out of ten is my rating. "Tous Les Soleils" is a superbly acted and produced film.
  • comment
    • Author: Anayajurus
    Alessandro (Stefano Corsi) is an easygoing widowed teacher who can't bear to give low marks in oral exams. He prefers to play his students bumptious tarantellas and dance on his desk. He lives with his eccentric misfit brother (another Italian) and 15 year-old daughter. He has known several gorgeous women (we meet them) and has more in his daily life, but none is able to pin him down. He reads books to hospital patients, one of them an ageing beauty Agathe (Anouk Aimee) who is alienated from her daughter. Finally, after a lot of comic business, some funny, some not-so, Agathe dies and her daughter Florence (Clotilde Courau) attends the funeral. We have to suspend disbelief as Alessandro falls for her, and eventually she attends a concert given by the ensemble he sings with. (Three samples of its music by Christina Pluhar are lovely.) It's a touching ending but wanting credibility because we know so little about Florence. Anyway, this movie has bags of charm with the two Italian brothers feuding in their native language amidst the lovely architecture of Strasbourg, and writer/director Philippe Claudel deserves credit.
  • comment
    • Author: Nalmezar
    I am french, and I love my French movies. This one is a little bit special and will bring to you so many way to see it. It could be seen as a comedy of life and in that respect every actors plays a typical type of character and does not move from it but at the end except the main character. It could be seen as just a comedy and you will laugh at the dialog. It could be seen as a reflective movie about ourselves... which character represents the best of us. It could be seen as an interesting point of introduction to the baroque culture... It could be seen as simply as a story... and what a beautiful story. There is no murder, neither sex scene as such or violence in this movie except may be some verbal fight between daughter and father, or two brothers. It does not represents anybody in particular but sure one of the character will represent you. As the title says in french: "Tous les Soleils", one sun is yours. Which one will you be. The story take place in France in modern days, and follows a professor struggling in life with his daughter and brother. That is all I will say about the story line, anything else will be spoiling this wonderful movie. I know some french will says: "this is no French movie" and will pin point so many fault in it and eventually destroy it, but this movie is not made to make you think, or may be will make you think later... way later. Like a good wine it takes time to mature and by re watching it I just appreciate it more and this is what I am writing this review. If you do accept this movies as is you will love it, if you starts to watch it to see any errors it may contains avoid it. Most of all if you want to enjoy a fresh comedy that will bring you a bit of fresh air in the world of "you must think French (not)" to watch the movie go watch this movie. I loved it, every single bit of it... Nothing to compare with some other movies like "Amour" but so much to it it will open many discussion and debate about life viewed with child eyes... child eyes of the realisator : Claudel.
  • comment
    • Author: Umge
    Alessandro, a Strasbourg university music professor has mourned the death of his wife for quite some time. Having emigrated to France, he finds himself living with his daughter Irina and his eccentric brother Luigi, a recluse who refuses to leave the apartment until the then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been deposed. As the story begins, we follow Alessandro to his class at the local university. An Italian by birth, Alessandro has adjusted well to his adoptive country, something he shares with his vast circle of friends.

    There is another side to the professor. He brings joy to patients at a local hospital who are battling different diseases. Agathe, an older woman, enjoys Alessandro's visits as well as his reading to her. She appears to be quite sick with cancer. Their bond is quite strong, to the point the dying Agathe entrusts him a letter to be given to her own estranged daughter, Florence. We see Alessandro offering to read to an older man who is not interested in the classic texts he carries; he wants to hear sexy stories, which bring a smile to his face.

    Alessandro's daughter Irina is a teenager with her own problems. Luigi tries helping make things better between Alessandro and her. Luigi, on the other hand is a bit tires of watching his brother not get involved romantically again. He decides to conspire with Irina is impersonating him in a date site on the internet. Lo and behold, they pick a colleague at the university, who realizes it is Alessandro from the start. Irina finds romance, even though her father is not too happy with her choice. Finally, Alessandro finds he has really enjoyed meeting Florence. Unknown to him, Luigi and Irina make the right movements to get them together.

    Philippe Claudel the creator of "Tous Les Soleils" gives us an amazing view of decent man who is dealing with his own pain in ways that are completely unselfish. In addition from making an impression on his musical students, he wants them to profit from what he has to teach them. His compensates what he is lacking in his life, the sadness in his heart, by giving himself to help others less fortunate than him. In this day, one wishes there would be more people like Alessandro in this world.

    His own life is dedicated to giving Irina, his daughter, the best he knows how. His relationship with his anarchist brother Luigi is good natured, in spite of the irritation he gets by watching his sibling waste his life in useless projects. His relationship with Agathe, the dying older woman is that of a mother and son. He mourns her death, while at the same time, finding an unexpected interest in the daughter of her beloved friend.

    M. Claudel directs with a sure hand. His tale is quite credible as it rings true. We know people like these, although Alessandro is luckier in that he has found fulfillment in helping others. Stefano Accorso, the Italian actor, now firmly enjoying another film career in France, shows why he is one of the most charismatic performers in European films. He has an easy way to project manliness and honesty. Neri Marcore and Lisa Cipriani are seen as Luigi and Irina. Both do excellent work for M. Claudel. The film is graced by Anouk Aime, who at this stage of her life radiates sweetness and dignity as Agathe. Clothilde Coureau makes a good impression with her Florence. The supporting cast is wonderful as well.

    One of the achievements of M. Claudel is in the use of music. It makes sense since Alessandro is involved in teaching it. Chrisina Pluhar contributes with most of the music one hears in the score. Denis Lenoir, the cinematographer takes us all over the beautiful city of Strasbourg and some surrounding areas in clear images that mix well with the story. Philippe Claudel proves he is a talent worth following.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Stefano Accorsi Stefano Accorsi - Alessandro
    Neri Marcorè Neri Marcorè - Luigi dit Crampone
    Clotilde Courau Clotilde Courau - Florence
    Lisa Cipriani Lisa Cipriani - Irina
    Anouk Aimée Anouk Aimée - Agathe
    José Luis Roig José Luis Roig - Fernando
    Xavier Boulanger Xavier Boulanger - Dieter
    Aude Koegler Aude Koegler - Francette
    Philippe Rebbot Philippe Rebbot - Jean-Paul
    Marie Seux Marie Seux - Malou
    Margot Lefevre Margot Lefevre - La grand-mère (as Margot Lefevre Chan)
    Jean-Marie Holterbach Jean-Marie Holterbach - Le grand-père
    Patricia Joly Patricia Joly - La directrice du département musicologie de l'université
    Emilie Gavois-Kahn Emilie Gavois-Kahn - La factrice
    Fayssal Benhamed Fayssal Benhamed - Le lieutenant de police
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