A film by Nicolas Boukhrief
Cast: Romain Duris, Marine Vacth, Anne Le Ny
Under the German occupation, in a small French town, the arrival of a new priest arouses the interest of all women … Barny, a young communist and atheist woman, can not however be more indifferent. Driven by curiosity, the young skeptic goes to the church in order to challenge this abbot: Léon Morin. Barny is yet to be destabilized by this young priest, as seductive as it is intelligent. Intrigued, it takes the play of their exchanges, to the point of questioning its deepest certainties. Will Barny succumb to the charm of the young priest?
Here And I thought it was a little familiar the director has rewrote the story from the book from the novel by Béatrice Beck entitled Léon Morin, a priest, while avoiding making a remake of the homonymous film by Jean-Pierre Melville (Léon Morin), whose production did not acquire the rights.
The film takes place today , a young priest goes to the bedside of an elderly woman who, on her deathbed, confides to him a secret to whom she has never spoken to anyone: that of her meeting with a Priest who shaken her life, when she was only a very young woman . A few months after the end of the war, the arrival of a seductive and loving priest changes the life of this village where men are rare (Barny’s husband is a prisoner in Germany). At the post office where Barny works, all the women are titillated and each one goes there to talk to him. Unlike her co-workers, Barny decides to keep her distance and even often provoke this man who represents an ideology of which she is suspicious.The director is careful not to enter into any political or religious discussion. The only fire of the narrative is indeed this psychological duel that will begin with blows of fluid and brilliant dialogues. It is going to be a slow film but an intelligent one where humans emotion are going to flow. Marine Vacth is brilliant in the skin of this young woman torn between her beliefs and the brilliant arguments of this persuasive man played by Romain Duris with a sweet smile that run the risk of becoming indigestible without the psychological study of the local population. Romain Duris, to whom the priest outfit fits him wonderfully well , knows how to find the tone just with a balanced dose of vivacity and mystery. There I was even surprise by this film so intelligently filmed, written with a perfect casting and beautifully well acted.