+ - - - AMW
The Return of Martin Guerre
Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Nathalie
Baye, and Roger Plachon
Directed by Daniel Vigne
By Malcolm Robinson
TIHE RETURN OF Martin Guerre,
by French director Daniel Vigne
has the same easy charm and grace as
a fable. The story is a true one, unem-
bellished by artistic flourishes, and not
a moment in the film passes that is not
thoroughly permeated by the essence of
16th century France, in particular the
daily routines of a French peasant'
It is obvious that great care has been
taken in order to make the details of
this film "correct," from the costumes
and the sets to the ethos of the period.
Princeton University professor Natalie
Davis served as historical consultant'
and later wrote the book.
The attention director Vigne paid to
the tiniest details is what gives this
decidedly middlebrow entertainment
much of its appeal. Unfortunately, the
problem in making this sort of film is
that unless a true artist (like
Rossellini) is at work, fidelity to history
can often act as a blinder about a film-
maker's eyes. Concern for detail can
become an end rather than a means.
It shouldn't be surprising then, that
this is the direction in which Vigne, in
his second feature film. begins to err.
Vigne may not yet be an artist of either
the first or second rank; he is, however,
a fine enough storyteller that this flaw
is not a fatal one. Instead, he makes
superb use of his sense of dramatic
structure in this telling of a story long
studies by historians.
Young Martin Guerre becomes the
object of ridicule in the village when he
cannot impregnate his bride, Bertran-
de. Guerre manages to get his wife
pregnant, but still frustrated begins to
abuse her. Finally he abandons both
wife and child, only to suddenly reap-
pear after eight long years.
Vigne, along with Jean Claude
Carriere manage to give form to the
broad material in Martin Guerre by
structuring it around the questionable
authenticity of the newly-returned
The film also explores the role of
women in society Bertrande is torn
between protecting the man she has
fallen in love with, the returned Guerre,
who in all probability is not her
husband, and fullfilling her duties to
her family. In the end she must side
with the Guerre family and hope that
the court proves that indeed the man
she loves is Guerre.
The film carries quite an emotional
wallop due in great measure to the ac-
ting of the film's three leads. Nathalie
Baye is perfectly proper and demure,
and like the French stage director Jean
de Coras, who plays Planchot (the in-
terrogator), gives a marvellously
precise performance. Gerard Depar-
diew gives what is certainly the finest
performance I have ever seen from him
as theMartin Guerrewhoshas returned.
Without exaggeration his best, early
scenes are some of the most miraculous
bits of screen acting ever to be put to
Hours: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. -7:45
Saturday, 6a.m.-3 p.m,;
Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
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By Eli Cohen
T'S A FOGGY Sunday morning
in Ann Arbor. It's only about 9 a.m.
by the clock on Burton Tower, but
already the exodus has begun. Not a
huge flow, but big enough.
They are easy to spot-wily veterans
of the Ann Arbor restaurant scene.
These refugees from the Hill dorms or
apartments on the North-east side of
campus know what they are doing.
They're heading for Angelo's and the
best Sunday brunch in Ann Arbor.
The raison d'etre of these con-
noisseurs is, of course, the raisin roast.
Thick and homemade, filled with
raisins, it is a meal in and of itself. On
weekdays North Campus students
frequently console themselves with cof-
fee and hunks of the fresh bread after
they trek down to central campus.
The toast is made in the afternoon
and served the next mroningin massive
slices. The raisins coat the bread with a
tasty, tangy glaze. Add a little butter
and the stuff melts in your mouth.
Angelo's on the outside looks as if it's
your typical greasy spoon. Patrons of
this restaurant enjoy the image
because it keeps the food inside more of
a secret. But this is Ann Arbor where
looks mean nothing.
Angelo's: Delicious breakfast
The image Angelo's projects is con-
sistent-from the neon sign in the
storefront window to the genuine bar
inside. The blue and white tiled floor
along with the blue vinyl coverings on
the seats make Angelo'slook more like
a converted Chinese take-out place than
a chic Sunday brunch spot. Wealthy'
suburbanites would hardly think of en-
tering such a place at home.
It is the unusual decor at Angelo's
that creates a kind of comradery
among the customers. Even though the
line often stretches down the block and
past the parking structure on a Sunday
morning, there is an air of understan-
ding between those waiting anxiously.
Angelo's relies on repeat business. Few
people just walk in off the street;
almost all of Angelo's customers have
been there before or have heard a
myriad of recommendations. Don't get
disheartened if you have to wait a
while-you are at the place for brunch.
Angelo's, however, is not just a place
to be seen. The brunch deserves its
reputation. Almost anything you order
will be hot, fresh, and food. Apart from-
the raisin toast, the specialties include
waffles, sausage, and omlettes.
The waffles are homemade and come
slightly hard on the outside, but moist
and tender on the inside. Along with an
order of raisin toast, the waffles are
enough to satiate even the most famish-
ed starch freak.
The omlettes, too, are fresh and make
looks mean nothing. people just walk in off the street;
living in a
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