The House by the Sea (La Villa), Dir. Robert Guédiguian, France, 2017, 107 mins, French with English subtitles
In veteran French director Robert Guédiguian’s most recent film, three grown siblings return to their family home in a provincial seaside town in Southern France to be with their dying father. Angela, an actress living in Paris, Joseph, who has just fallen in love with a girl half his age and Armand, the only one who stayed behind to run the family’s small restaurant are reunited and forced to take stock of their lives as they consider what they have inherited of their father’s ideals. Unexpected newcomers in the form of refugee children discovered in the woods near the village shift the family dynamic and hint at new beginnings.
This wistful, melancholic film features many of the same actors who have accompanied Guédiguian throughout most of his filmography, including the director’s wife Ariane Ascaride, who has featured in 18 of his previous films.