TIFF 2017 Movie Review: LES GARDIENNES (THE GUARDIANS) (France/Switzerland 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Guardians Poster
Women are left behind to work a family farm during the Great War.


Xavier Beauvois


Nathalie BayeIris BryLaura Smet
LES GUARDIENNES (THE GUARDIANS) is director Xavier Beauvois’ (LE PETIT LIEUTENANT) handsomely mounted period piece of World War II told during the period of 4 years from 1916, the start to end.

It is a story that needs to be told – of what effects the war as well as modernization had on a typical farm family in France.

The women of the Pardier farm, under the deft hand of the family’s matriarch (Nathalie Baye in arguably her best role), must grapple with the workload while the men, including two sons, are off at the front. Her husband, daughter and , grand-daughter remain with her. She seeks the aid of an outsider, a strong 25-year old orphan, Francine (Laura Smet) who turns out to be an excellent worker.

When Francine and on of the sons fall in love, the trouble starts. Beauvois’ film is almost perfect in he creation of the war atmosphere and of rural France. The harvesting and planting seasons are beautifully captured on film.

The film also does not gear towards the typical Hollywood ending but a realistic credible one instead.

Trailer: (unavailable)

the guardians