The Grocer’s Son

Rated 4.0

When a country grocer suffers a heart attack, his prodigal son (Nicolas Cazalé) comes home to help with the family business—and to unpack the family baggage. Directed by Eric Guirado (who co-wrote with Florence Vignon), the movie is a lovely pastoral character piece that never descends into the kind of soap opera a quick synopsis might suggest. There’s just enough conflict to explain why the son ran off 10 years ago for a new life in the city, and yet we feel him grudgingly releasing his pent-up urban tension back among the villagers, where he begins, almost in spite of himself, to bloom again in the provincial sunshine. Cazalé makes an appealing hero even at his most sullen and resentful, and Clotilde Hesme is a breath of fresh air as the platonic girlfriend for whom he has unexpressed feelings.