When you are young summer lasts forever - this is the case of Lea, Adrian and Theo who are sent to spent the summer in Provence with their grandparents. Paul, the grandfather they never met, is not at all happy with the idea of spending two months with the kids of his daughter with whom he cut all ties seventeen years ago. The teenagers, Lea and Adrian, think that they are “buried alive” in the countryside away from the Paris world they love so much. Only little Theo, who is deaf from birth, is happy wherever he goes. The grandmother tries to smooth things out but it is not long until the storm arrives and Paul and his grandchildren go head to head.
The original name of the movie AVIS DE MISTRAL translates as THE WILL OF MISTRAL. The mistral is cold, dry, northern wind but without it the olives don’t grow. It is, of course, a reference to the man character Paul who is rough and pigheaded, but has a big heart.
The movie places us in the middle of the beautiful land where no trouble seems significant enough and while the story focuses on a clash between generations, it is still a family movie and has a light hearted tone throughout.
MY SUMMER IN PROVENCE has a very optimistic view of modern France, where old and new can co-exist in harmony. Even though it may feel like a wishful thinking, the story makes you believe it for an hour and a half, and that is all that matters.
Jean Reno gives us a very believable farmer and his transformation from an angry old man to a loving grandpa is endearing. The young cast does a decent job, but little Lukas Pelissier, as deaf Theo, is an inspired choice. His character’s kindness and love of life reflects on every member of the cast and makes it all a believable story.
The movie itself is what may be called a “crowd pleaser”. It is probably a little too sentimental, but if you are not a complete cynic yet, you will enjoy your SUMMER IN PROVENCE.