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Jacquou le croquant

6.42 h 24 min2007U
1815. Jacquou, a young peasant from the Périgord region, lives happily with his parents. Because of a cruel and arrogant nobleman, the Count of Nansac, he becomes a miserable orphan. Jacquou grows up under the protection of the good priest Bonal, who has taken him in.
Laurent Boutonnat
Marie-Josée CrozeAlbert DupontelTchéky Karyo
None Available
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Supporting actors
Gaspard Ulliel
Under The Milky Way
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4.6 out of 5 stars

99 global ratings

  1. 67% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 24% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Nicholas CasleyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 August 2014
3.0 out of 5 stars
If You Like 'Les Miserables' or 'The Count of Monte Cristo' ...
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The book ‘Jacquou le Croquant’ is often translated as ‘Jacquou the Rebel’, but actually ‘Croquant’ has a more pejorative meaning as ‘a yokel’. Set in the Perigord (the native part of France of the author, Eugene Le Roy) just after the Napoleonic period, it sets Jacquou’s attempt to overturn injustices suffered in a countryside where the old aristocratic order attempts to re-asserts itself.

In that regard, the story can be seen as part of the same genre as novels by Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, and even Charles Dickens. It is therefore a story rich in characterisation and drama, but also one in which the very characters themselves are wholly good or wholly evil; a black-and-white world where heroes and villains are as subtle as in a pantomime. And that is why I became bored barely twenty minutes into this epic 140-minute film.

A lot of money was clearly spent on Laurent Boutonnat’s lavish 2005 production. The story is a French classic, read by young and old alike. But I bought the DVD for one reason only: Gaspard Ulliel, who plays the title role. He has been a favourite French actor of mine for a while. Here he does what is required: playing the part with gusto of the peasant boy who falls for the count’s daughter (the only character with depth) whilst at the same time seeking vengeance for the death of his father at the count’s hands.

The film is beautifully shot in a sepia tone, and has enough colour and drama to maintain the viewer’s interest to the very end. The dancing contest is well put-together and edited, and the scene evinces real tension in the village community. Also affecting is the pathos inspired by the death of the priest.

But a failure of the film is its music soundtrack. Written by the director, it is lush and melodramatic. Nothing wrong with that, of course; in fact, it is very well-composed and well-orchestrated; however, it is too intrusive and too concerned with overtly telling the viewer how he or she should feel.

Overall, then, there is enough here to keep a lover of ‘Les Miserables’ or ‘the Count of Monte Cristo’ watching the screen, but the occasional mawkishness and Manichean characterisation often annoyed this reviewer.

The extras on my copy included a gallery of stills and a forty-five minute ‘making of’ feature. Unfortunately, this latter has no English subtitles, but contains enough to maintain interest for those without any knowledge of French, as it shows how certain scenes were shot.
One person found this helpful
KleioReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 September 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Picaresque drama which faithfully encapsulates Restoration France 1815 - 1830.
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I've watched this dvd twice in the last 6 months & enjoyed it even more second time around. Anyone interested in modern French history should give it a go. It covers the Restoration period 1815 to 1830 when the returning Bourbon dynasty undermined itself by pursuing extreme reactionary "Ultra" policies. These found little favour in a new France transformed by 20 years of Revolution and War. The tussle between the film's two main protagonists - Ultra Comte de Nansac & Peasant Jacquou - encapsulates the wider struggle between Ultras who "had learned nothing and forgotten nothing" from the revolutionary era and the new France which was evolving a new liberal sense of social justice. The initial injustice wrought by Nansac against the parents of Jacquou reflects the 'White Terror' inflicted by returning Royalists against Republican & Bonapartist enemies. It does so in a very direct & concrete way by showing the social power of aristocracy & the politicisation of the law courts at a time of regime change. Fifteen years later the process is reversed when news of the 1830 Revolution toppling the Bourbons sees the same law court giving another politicised verdict following yet another regime change. But this time Frenchmen can be comforted that their country was, once more, resuming its long liberal & humane evolution, albeit with much bloodshed & division. The 1789 Revolution divided France religiously as well as politically & the film reflects this well. We have a liberal priest befriending both a Protestant & a Freethinker but being harrassed by a reactionary Jesuit who (accurately) represents the official stance of the Catholic Church at this time: it sought to eliminate (vainly) all aspects of revolutionary thinking. The film has essentially 2 messages. Politically, Liberalism is better than Reaction. Religiously, that to err is human, but to forgive is divine. The humanity of the hero is in stark contrast to the vengeful injustice of his nemesis Nansac. Religion & Politics combine to give the simple message that a just society will be a tolerant one. Voltaire is vindicated. (How much this concept is reflected in the present ban on public veils is a matter for Frenchmen to debate.) So this picaresque adventure covers some pretty deep abstract concepts in a direct & accessible way without intruding too much on the plot & dynamic. It is a drama with some action which some reviewers find 'a bit slow'. It is beautifully shot, very well written & well acted. It provides a good historical introduction to Restoration France & will leave most Frenchmen feeling that their succession of bloody revolutions may have been regrettable but were, in essence, a necessary struggle out of the darkness & inequalities of the ancien regime. I'm just glad I'm English!
susie-joReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 August 2011
3.0 out of 5 stars
Review on Jacquou Le Croquant
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I am a fan of Gaspard Ulliel and love his movies so was looking forward to watching this film for a long time. I am from Ireland so was unable to get the dvd over here so was thrilled to find it on amazon.

From the opening of the film to the ending I enjoyed the somewhat eccentric script and artistic filming style chosen by the director. The characters were interesting and the plot was straight-forward and gave an interesting insight into French history after the fall of Napoleon.

Having said that, I found the movie very long and dragged out at times and thought the beginning could have been summed up in fifteen minutes rather than forty! The movie was nearly two and half hours long in total. I prefer other Gaspard Ulliel movies as I found this one very strange at times.

It wasn't what I thought it was going to be like but it was enjoyable all the same and for people who enjoy historical action movies with a touch of romance and French culture and humour I would recommend this dvd.

Thank you also to the seller for leaving the note in the package, my sister and my mother had great fun practising their french (which they had not studied since school!)
Thank you to the seller who left me a little note in French, I
One person found this helpful
StefanReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 February 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Watch it. It's good
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One of the best movies I've ever seen. Story of many kids
L. HebertReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
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only arrived yesterday, but looks good
mickael maunyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
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babydayReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 September 2012
3.0 out of 5 stars
Overlong & dull!
Im not a fan of epic historical films as it is but had wanted to see this for Gaspard ulliel.
First off it is very overlong,with too many unnecessary or stretched out scenes.
I also found it odd that an hour or so of the beginning of the movie focused so much on 'Jacquous' childhood,cramming in the second half of the story where Jacquou has grown up (when Gaspard ulliel appears) & is seeking revenge.I would have much prefered it to be the other way round as this is where the story could have got interesting,instead alot is left unexplained.
There is nothing great or dramatic about this film,even the acting is mediocre,i cannot deny that it is well made,being very lavish & beautifully shot but there are just too many flaws! 2.5/3 stars
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