The Guardians Review: Like a series of paintings by Monet, the historical drama “The Guardians” The First World War takes place elsewhere, but this part of the country remains intact and fertile, thanks to the hard work of the women who remained at the head of the family farm while their husbands, brothers and children fight and sometimes come back not.
The director and co-author of the Guardians Xavier Beauvois takes his time to introduce us to this place and these people. Its rhythm is calm, which allows us to breathe and to appreciate the beauty of the pictorial light which bathes the trees, the fields of wheat and the slopes of a colored light (work of the director of photography Caroline Champetier, who also filmed “Holy Motors” and “Beauvois”. “We see the horrors of the war from the beginning, as we run silently on a battlefield, with lifeless bodies scattered in the fog.” But Beauvois is much more interested in the loved ones of these men struggle to continue living.He made an intimate epic, as contradictory as it may seem.
The director, who currently plays a juicy secondary role as Juliette Binoche’s arrogant and married lover in “Let the sun shine”, is much more respectful and grateful for the many crucial roles women play. And in Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet and newcomer, Iris Bry, have three very different actresses through which to explore the themes of the film. (Beauvois wrote the screenplay with Marie-Julie Maille and Frédérique Moreau, based on Ernest Perochon’s 1924 novel, “Les Guardiennes”).
Part of the charm of “The Guardians” comes from the cast: Radiant mother and daughter and true Baye and Smet play mother and daughter Hortense and Solange. It was in 1915 and Hortense’s two sons went to war, just like Solange’s husband. The three men come and go during the film, but women need constant help throughout the year, with the dream of modernizing their future operations. (It may be a spoiler, but you’ll never see another movie with not one, but two scenes of characters reacting happily when a tractor arrives.)