Monday, 14 October 2013

The Family



I saw this movie accidentally yesterday afternoon. A friend asked us if we wanted to go along to a Can Assist fundraiser so we said yes, and then asked what the movie was. Turns out it was The Family. I'd never heard of it before. But then Mafia movies aren't my genre of choice, even if they're Mafia comedies. I went in knowing absolutely nothing about the movie or plot, and was pleasantly surprised (by some of it).

Robert De Niro plays ageing mobster Giovanni Manzoni who is living in France under and FBI witness protection program. His family, wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and two teenage children move to a quiet Normandy village at the start of the movie. The French setting was a big bonus for me, and provided much of my interest. It also gives The Family some genuinely funny moments.


I love that dog food line. Mind you Mr Wicker and I were the only ones audibly chuckling at that.

The Family is based on a French novel, Malavita (Badfellas in English translation, which all gets a bit confusing as Goodfellas the movie is referenced in The Family), by Italian sounding, but actually French author Tonino Benacquista. The movie is known as Malavita in France, but seems to be The Family in the English speaking world. The reviews haven't been universally glowing, primarily I think because it's too randomly and gratuitously violent for a comedy, although the humour, and French location are what saved it for me. All the main actors are very good and we do care about their stories, even if you have to close you eyes for some bits.

Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita at An Accidental Blog

10 comments:

Linda said...

I saw previews of this and thought I would see it because I would love to see them "trapped" in France and their reactions to it.

Paulita said...

I'm sure the opportunities for comedy abound with an American mafia family moving to France. I want to see this one.
Thanks for playing along.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Will have to check this out!

Jeanie said...

I just noticed that this was here in our town and wondered how it might be. DeNiro is usually good but it was Normandy that grabbed me! Maybe I'll hit a bargain matinee!

Joy said...

Good to know. I was avoiding this movie for the gratuitous violence, but I keep seeing funny bits. The humor and French location would probably make it work for us, too. Thanks!

Joy's Book Blog

Esme said...

It is amazing how many movies there are out there that we have never heard of.

Esme said...

PS I love Tim Tams-where did you see them in Paris-even when I have not felt well in Paris I have never craved American/Canadian food. I lament that there is a limit to all the French food I can eat-Do you have any suggestions for Paris I will be back there again before the end of the year.

Louise said...

I do think they could have done more about the fish out of water aspect of the story.

Joy- please do not under-estimate the gratuitous violence inherent in this movie.

Esme I saw Tim Tams in 2010 at our local Monoprix (rue de l'Opera), and this year at La Grande Epicerie. It is truly sad that there is a limit to the amount we can eat on any visit. How fabulous that you are returning this year. I have too many suggestions to list....

Esme said...

Thank you for the suggestions.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

A setting in France always gives a movie or a book bonus points, I think.