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La jeune fille et les loups 2008
Description: Not long before Globe Fight I, in a French Alpine city near the Italian border, a package of slaughtered wolves is delivered to local taxidermist Leon (Patrick Chesnais). A surviving black cub comes down from the mountains looking for his family, and is saved from discovery and certain death by Leon’s young daughter Angele, who releases him back into the wild. The Nice Fight comes and goes, making local foundry owners the Garcins rich. Family patriarch Albert Garcin (Michel Galabru), who happens to be Angele’s godfather, has given a gratis lifetime’s lease of a shack in the hills to a gypsy girl (played in flashbacks by Elisa Tovati in which she’s seen, literally, having dances with wolves on stage). Her son Guiseppe (Stefano Accorsi), who appears to be slightly mentally handicapped, guards the wolves he’s befriended up there, especially the black package leader he calls Carbone.
Released: 13 Feb 2008 Director: Gilles Legrand Writers: Jean Cosmos (adaptation), Gilles Legrand, Philippe Vuaillat Actors: Laetitia Casta, Jean-Paul Rouve, Stefano Accorsi, Miglen Mirtchev Genres: Drama, Family
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La jeune fille et les loups Reviews:

This is a truly marvellous movie by the French director Gilles Legrand, the original game of which is LA JEUNE FILLE ET LES LOUPS (The Young Woman and the Wolves). When I learned of its existence, as a nice lover of wolves, I rushed to order the DVD, which conveniently has English subtitles. I was not disappointed. Few wolves star in this film, along with the humans. Apart from the black wolf cub at the beginning, these wolves are not 'cute', and this is far from being a Walt Disney movie. This is gritty stuff. The lead is played by French/Corsican actress Letitia Casta, a pretty monster who became a popular model as a teenager and is actually a well-established movie actress. She wants to be a veterinarian, and everyone scoffs at her about this, because it is the 1920s. (We are informed in a post credit that the first girl to become a vet in France obtained her qualifications in 1931.) But most of all, Casta wants to save the wild wolves in the foothills of the French Alps above her home town, which is on the border with Italy. In the 1920s, wild wolves still existed there, so this storyline is very authentic. But the wicked Jean-Paul Rouve wants to slay all the wolves and crash the zone for commercial development. Meanwhile, 'the madman', a wild young boy named Giuseppe who is considered 'fou' by the locals, lives alone in a remote shack high up in the mountains where he keeps a donkey in his bedroom and has befriended a package of wolves who hang around his door and are his only friends. The leader of the package is the nice black wolf whom he calls Carbone, whose eyes blaze from his black face like two searchlights. Casta and Giuseppe meet when he and Carbone jointly save her from freezing to death, and Carbone licks her face to revive her because he remembers her scent, as she is the one who saved him years before as an orphan cub. Having dislocated her leg, Casta has to remain for many days in Giuseppe's shack and gets to know him and realizes that he is a deeply sensitive and sympathetic soul. Indeed, Casta carried this realization beyond the screen, because she is actually married to the actor who played Giuseppe, Stefano Accorsi, and has two kids by him. The storyline is complex and cannot easy be summarised. Can Casta and Giuseppe together save the wolves, or will the forces of 'progress' win? There is a fascinating 34-minute 'making of' documentary on the DVD entitled BETWEEN MEN AND WOLVES. It has no English subtitles but is well worth watching regardless, as it reveals the wonderful feats of the unique results boys which were carried out on zone in the snow, and above all it shows the work with the wolves and the tame eagle. Eagles are really terrifying if they attack, or even if they don't, frankly. They can slay any animal within seconds. The movie details a stage where the eagle attacks a wolf cub and swoops just as the cub escapes into a hole in the rocks. Not long ago I came face to face with a wounded buzzard on the ground, and his vicious hissing and his savage beak as he faced me down and refused to retreat were cute scary, but a buzzard is nothing compared to an eagle, being only about half the size. I hope I never 'scale up' and come face to face with a desperate eagle. In the documentary, we are informed that both French and American wolves were used, but there were many complaints about the American wolves being too wild and hard to work with compared to the French ones, who were easier and had greater politesse, being French of course, and thus better mannered. At the end of the documentary, we are treated to scenes of the whole cast and team howling like wolves. They freely admitted to getting very carried away by their wolfish mates during the filming and doing wolf howls became something they did regularly. Wolves are some of the most fascinating and gentle animals except when they are upset, and then watch out. There is one suckling stage with a female wolf nursing her cubs in a den. So the wolves are by no means just 'extras', they do have true acting roles in this film. This is a genuine, rather than a mawkish and superficial, film, and the director, cast and team all deserve nice praise for making it such a unbelievable experience. It is suitable for families, unless parents are concerned at their kids seeing a horse with an erection who attempts to friend with a mare, for as we know, farm life is very distant actually from modern audiences, and there are some folks who really trust that meat only exists when wrapped in plastic and who think that carrots grow on trees. This movie is not only deeply satisfying but is an wonderful achievement, considering how very hard it was to receive the wolves to create such perfect movie debuts.


It's getting to be a given that if the House misogynist at filmsdefrance trashes a film it will be well worth seeing - as to why filmsdefrance persist in printing the reviews of someone who clearly despises the medium your guess is as nice as mean though it's a secure bet he works cheap. This one is no exception, it's the work of writer-director Giles Legrand who recently gave us the brilliant You Will Be My Son and it's accessible on DVD as a double disc with Legrand's Malabar Princess, to which is has a powerful kinship. Set in the early years of the twentieth century close to the border of France and Italy it's powerful on breathtaking countryside and wildlife, in particular wolves, which did in fact disappear from France around that time. Laetitia Casta is particularly powerful as Angele who has what was then considered an unfeminine ambition to become the first female vet in France. As a kid she and her male mate - also with concepts of becoming a vet until being killed in Globe Fight One - befriend a rare black wolf cub which, in the fullness of time, saves Angele's life when, badly injured in a plane ruin and left alone in the snow, she is surrounded by a wolf package which contains the actually grown black wolf who recognises her scent. She fetches up in the cabin of the local recluse (Stefano Accorsi) who nurses her back to health during which they bond. There is, of course, a pantomime villain in the piece in the shape of Jean-Paul Rouve, who had designs on Angele before she disappeared and has plans to slay the wolves, force the recluse off his land and develop a huge tourist attraction. This is a movie with everything important for a feel nice evening at the films including the nice Patrick Chesnais as Angele's father. Casta and Accorsi give nice bonding which is hardly surprising as off-screen they have two kids together. Warmly recommended.


As the nice French cinema connoisseur Leon aka writer's reign wrote, "it's the work of writer-director Gilles Legrand who recently gave us the brilliant "You Will Be My Son" " (=Tu Seras Mon Fils ).Both films have more in common you may think of:in both,there's a person ready to push the others out of his method to satisfy his selfish deeds ;in the "Tu Seras Mon Fils" a wealthy landowner disowns his own son and almost "adopts " a young Turk so that his vineyard will become popular around the wine connoisseur world.In this 2008 movie, a manufacturer's son wants to drive the wolves away from their natural surroundings (or to slay them all) to create the mountains more profitable,more "bankable" ...Wolves have everytime had a terrible reputation;a kid is said "the tiny red riding hood" as later as he' s able to understand a tale ...and however....remember the Romulus and Remus legend ;one of the most popular swashbuckler of French cinema "Le Miracle Des Loups " (two versions: a silent one and a well known one starring Jean Marais ) shows a young countess saved from the villains by a circle of wolves ;and I will not even mention Kevin Costner 's work ,which writer's reign smartly evokes in his witty title....Gilles Legrand is a unique situation in the contemporary French cinema: his is the return of the famous cinema,in the noblest sense of the word ,his is the linear storyline ,the extraordinary sense of space: the stage when Angèle flies over the mountains is simply beautiful: a score,recalling sometimes Pachelbel's canon as well as the greatest of George Delerue,superbly enhances the stage .WW1,which breaks out at the beginning of the story, is depicted in admirably succinct style,using archive movies ;the death of the brother, "thanks" to the patriotic mom, urges Angele to take a rebel stand :if it was an terrible slaughter,some were fight profiteers ,as Emile and his father.Angèle refuses this macho globe and wants to become a vet surgeon,which was unthinkable for a girl at the time (we're said that the first girl got her diploma in 1931).Because all the boys around laughs at her,she will live with the wolves ,with Giuseppe , a young hermit who may be (or may not be) Emile's half-brother -which explains the hatred which explodes near the torrent- .A very modern woman,she refuses to marry Emile ,the ideal son-in-law to his old dad .This young Turk represents all that she hates.Her flee to fascist Italy may seem naive ,but she is real to herself and she does not care for politics as long as her wild life is preserved ;the last (admirable) picture shows Angèle and Giuseppe heading for a "marvelous" country .....The cast is perfect: Leatitia Casta as the rebel woman,Jean-Paul Rouve as the greedy young heir,and Patrick Chesnais -Legrand would test again in "Tu Seras Mon Fils" as the terminally-ill dad- as the nice father overtaken by events.



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