8/10
A slice of life in an understanding, loving family.
29 April 2006
A thoroughly gripping family drama by the Merchant-Ivory team. An American writer, Bill Willis, and his wife, Marcella, and daughter, Channe (Leelee Sobieski in her debut), live in Paris in the 1960's & 70s. In a role-reversal, the mother is weak and has difficulty communicating with her children, whereas the father is understanding and approachable. They adopt a boy from his mother, not quite legally.

Channe's best friend is an impetuous, rebellious and arrogant boy soprano, Francis Fortescue, who aspires to be an opera singer; his character brings originality to the film. Years later the family moves back to the USA and the children have great difficulty adapting to the new cultural environment. There is little plot, just a slice of life in an understanding, loving family. These are wonderfully developed characters that one can really care about.
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