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83

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Secret of the Grain is a touching and resoundingly humanistic story set in the rustic port of Sete in southeastern France. Slimane has worked in the same shipyard job for over 35 years, when his growing dissatisfaction prompts him to try to open his own restaurant. His dream seems unbelievable, but his contagious conviction and persistence work their way into the hearts of his loyal but dispersed family; the four children from his first marriage, his ex-wife, current girlfriend and her bright, outspoken daughter, Rym. A grand film about ordinary people, The Secret of the Grain is a deliciously slow-burning drama about fate, food and family. (IFC Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    Takes one man, his children, their spouses and babies, his ex-wife, his girlfriend, her daughter, and his friends and turns it all into a masterpiece about the strange power of food - to heal, unite, exasperate.
  2. 100
    An entire family chronicle, along with four decades of French social and economic history, is recapitulated as a lavish, hectic dinner, complete with music and belly dancing. It will leave you stunned and sated, having savored an intimate and sumptuous epic of elation and defeat, jealousy and tenderness, life and death, grain and fish.
  3. Rather than observing this family, we feel we are part of it, and that draws us in as nothing else can.
  4. Kechiche takes his time, allowing us to know the characters as if we live next door. But be warned: for those who come to feel like a member of the family, the unexpected end may seem strikingly unfair.
  5. 75
    The cast is solid, with standout performances by first-timer Habib Boufares as Slimane.
  6. 70
    Escalates into visceral allegory with an abandon and cruelty that seem positively Romanian. The last 30 minutes more than redeem the preceding two hours.
  7. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    50
    An overlong, dramatically unbalanced picture whose emotional wallop gets somewhat diffused.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jan 24, 2011
    9
    Powerful matriarchs, a system of economic oppression and a culture told through the medium of food. Sleepy France is seen but never heard, instead the familial space centres the narrative and provides a framework for naturalism. The acting is spot-on, the camera innocently soaks up the atmosphere with a wondrous eye for detail and our perspective is that of an 'insider' like someone who is part of the cultural fabric or part of the family. A great learning experience and positively specific. 9/10 94/100 Expand
  2. Mar 13, 2011
    8
    the movie starts out rather slowly and is a little confusing with all of the characters their relationships with each other. However, it gradually builds until it becomes very suspenseful and tense in the final 45 minutes, and then with typical French film, ends, leaving the viewer to wonder about how it finally ends. Very absorbing, although some scenes go on too long, and the movie as a whole is rather long, but makes up for it at the end. Expand
  3. Apr 12, 2012
    8
    Solid family drama that revolves around a family of first generation immigrants ( Algerian ?) and their struggles to build new lives in France. The French spoken has a fairly thick Arabic flavour and was hard to follow but subtitles are well done. Engaging. Expand

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