A film by Jérôme Salle
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, Audrey Tautou, Benjamin Lavernhe
1948 Jacques-Yves Cousteau, his wife and son both live in paradise, in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. But Cousteau dreams of adventure. Thanks to his invention, the scuba gear that can breathe underwater, he discovered a new world. Now this world, he wants to explore. And for that, he is ready to sacrifice everything.
Here Jérôme Salle tackles the live of Cousteau his passion of the ocean, the unknown as well has his doubts, his weaknesses,his shortcomings and contradictions. At the beginning of the film, right after the war you see the family Cousteau in this house on the border of the ocean a beautiful photographie by Mathias Bouchard, who has done a great job here. The set who is colorful and lively exactly reproduces the joy of living that nothing seems to ever have to alter. We understand very quickly that the 2 boys has nothing in common. Philippe (Pierre Niney), the youngest, is an amateur daredevil, adventurer and loves dangers like his father. Jean-Michel (Benjamin Laverne), the eldest, is timid and reserved. Here is Cousteau who has this red hat who had to ask for donation so he could explore the ocean where no man has done before, where his wife sold her jewelry to finance this old boat the Calypso so they can take off on this long adventure after all she says “ it is not only your dream but mine too”. Lambert Wilson and Pierre Niney has done a nice job incarnated their characters, although even showing the great admiration they had for each other. Pierre Niney puts all his talent toward his character Philippe, this adventurer who was sensitive and heart broken by the indifference of the father he loves above all. It brings a real human dimension to the film. There is an other side of Cousteau the one who wanted to preserves and protect the ocean and the environment. He has founded an organization full force. He also was the inventor of many other things. Lambert Wilson here shines in the role of Cousteau it is flowing naturally out of him. Let’s not forget Audrey Tautou who has done an outstanding job here playing the wife of Cousteau after all she was the captain of the ship. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was able to recognize his mistakes and to this day remains the forerunner of modern ecology. As such, he deserved this tribute l’Odysseé makes him an amply.