THE WASHINGTON POST – The Rose Maker, a seductive and undemanding comedy-drama by Pierre Pinaud, opens with an extravagantly staged sequence in the rose garden of Parc de Bagatelle in Paris, a destination of pilgrimage for Rosarians around the world. whole and the people who love them.
This setting proves to be an apt setting for a film that feels like a cinematic trifle – viewers looking for novelty, thematic weight and edgy twists are advised to ignore this wispy, gullible audience enjoyment as he goes for the sentimental jugular.
But you know what? It’s spring, we’re exhausted, and the gentle humanism at the heart of The Rose Maker’s most brazen manipulations might just be what more than a few cynical-soaked audiences need.
The Bagatelle scene stars Eve Vernet (Catherine Frot), who, with her faithful assistant Véra (Olivia Côte), presents her latest hybrid at the Park’s annual rose competition.
Eve inherited his sprawling rose farm from her father and continues to follow his meticulous artisan breeding procedures, carefully crossing her plants, saving the seeds and raising the new blooms in hopes they will become best-sellers. .
Eve is aggressively wooed by a brash young businessman (Vincent Dedienne) who wants to absorb her operation into his own global conglomerate, but she’s determined to stay independent, while the bills pile up and her beloved creations fail. fail to ignite the market.
Recognizing Eve’s need for cheap labor, Véra enlists the services of three ex-convicts – the gentle Samir (Fatsah Bouyahmed), the shy Nadège (Marie Petiot) and the surly Fred (rapper Melan Omerta ). Once these three former miscreants are on the scene, plot points unfold with metronomic predictability, inevitable personality clashes, life lessons, revelations, and seemingly catastrophic setbacks to Eve’s wacky plan. to save his life’s work.
Although The Rose Maker is ostensibly about how Eve and her ragtag group of misfits come together, Pinaud focuses on her relationship with Fred, at the expense of Samir and Nadège, who fade into the background, appearing occasionally for comic relief.
The narrative tension is almost non-existent in a story animated by issues that could not be less, nor more stereotyped; the plot unfolds smoothly, much like Vera’s battered VW that runs at the right time no matter what mishaps befall it.
The Rose Maker, which was filmed in France’s scenic Roanne hills, is undeniably pretty to look at – production designer Philippe Numérique names Eve’s secluded farmhouse in romantic stripes of rich fabrics and floral-themed objects , and the flowers themselves take pride of place in the adoration of close-ups.
From afar the rows and rows of profuse blooms are so vividly colored that they seem corrected within an inch of their life; strabismus and The Rose Maker becomes a field of poppies worthy of Monet in Argenteuil.
The Rose Maker is so frictionless and decidedly easy-going that its most authentic moments come as a shock – Frot and Omerta have managed to develop real chemistry amid the shots, and the film’s climactic scenes are heartbreaks that feel really deserved.
Top it all off with Pinaud’s final dedication, and The Rose Maker morphs into a film that carries its emotions lightly yet generously, like dew on a blush-colored petal.