Receiving unwarranted attacks and criticism for its subject matter : that of a 30-year old man and his ‘relationship’ with his 14-year old stepdaughter, Blier’s masterpiece rarely touches issue of pedophilia. The subject narrative is continually softened with wholesome and frank dialogue and empathetic slow pans to the often torn protagonist. Ariel Besse plays Marion, an innocent, sweet, and smitten young girl whose Mother has been tragically killed in a car accident. Circumstance plays a huge part in understanding the issue at hand, and although there is consummation of the fling, it really becomes a non-issue in the entire story – which is one of love, coping and healing. Communication is an interesting tool in “Beau Pere” and Blier plays his hand with cool French apprehension. I was particularly fond of the music, pauses and use of the entire widescreen frame. I also think the performances were excellent considering the difficult emotions that required portrayal. Really this is one of the better French films I have seen. A favorite.
~ Gary W. Tooze