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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

40-LOVE (TERRE BATTUE)


By D.E.Levine

A Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2015 Selection

A middle-aged chain store sales manager, Jerome Sauvage (Olivier Gourmet) loses his job and refuses to accept defeat.  Totally ego-centric, Sauvage throws himself into researching the products and locations necessary for opening his own shoe store.  He's intent and not above bending the laws a bit to get the information he needs.

Perhaps it's true that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, because we see the relentless way that Sauvage's 11-year old son Ugo (Charles Merienne) approaches his goal to earn a place at the prestigious Roland Garros tennis center.  Viewers see that Ugo's goals frequently interfere with those of his father, who sometimes misses or is late for Ugo's appointments and matches because he's pursuing his own goals.  In short, Jerome is a pretty selfish guy.

However, when Jerome takes Ugo in for a physical and the doctors diagnose him with a rare condition, we see a father forced to re-evaluate and adjust his priorities.  In short, although parenthood, up until this time, has not forced Jerome to sacrifice and he has remained selfish, the turn of events due to Ugo's health problems, forces Jerome to place Ugo ahead of himself.

There are many twists and turns in this story and while the focus appears to be on the Sauvage family, the story actually revolves around all the various pressures that Western society places on all families and how they relate to those pressures.