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Film / A Sunday in the Country

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A Sunday in the Country (French: Un dimanche à la campagne) is a 1985 French film directed by Bertrand Tavernier, starring Louis Ducreux, Michel Aumont and Sabine Azema.

The story is set in 1912. Monsieur Ladmiral (Ducreux), an old painter, lives in the country with his servant Mercédès. His son Gonzague (Aumont), his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren pay him a visit, as they usually do. After lunch, Monsieur Ladmiral's daughter Irène (Azéma) comes to his home too.

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A Sunday in the Country provides examples of:

  • Fantasy Sequence:
    • At some point, Monsieur Ladmiral imagines that he is talking to his late wife.
    • Later, Gonzague imagines that his father is dead.
    • Irène also imagines that she is talking to her late mother.
  • The Edwardian Era: The story is set in 1912. The telephone is in use. Monsieur Ladmiral talks about the time where he saw a photograph for the first time. Irène owns an automobile, which is a new thing.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The film is about some people who spend a Sunday in the country.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The action of the movie takes place during one day, from dawn to dusk.
  • The Film of the Book: The film is based on a 1945 book by Pierre Bost, Monsieur Ladmiral va bientôt mourir.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Gonzague is very serious: he has a stable job and a strong family. He visits his father frequently. Her sister Irène does not want to get married. She has a secret lover. Her job is not stable, but she spends a lot of money (she owns a motor car). She visits his father rarely.
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  • Genki Girl: Irène is cheerful and full of energy. She constantly moves quickly. She does not stop talking (so that it is difficult for her father to say something).
  • Happy Flashback: A flashback shows the Ladmirals having a picnic in the garden when Gonzague and Irène were children and their mother was alive.
  • Insistent Appellation: Monsieur Ladmiral insists on calling his son "Gonzague", an aristocratic given name, whereas his servant and Gonzague's wife call him "Édouard", a more common name.
  • The Lost Lenore: The wife of Monsieur Ladmiral is dead. He often talks about her. There is even a Fantasy Sequence where he imagines that he talks to her.
  • Narrator: At several points, a narrator gives some additional information about the characters and their thoughts.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Irène is young. Her family is rich. She is witty and confident. She likes speed and automobiles, which are "unladylike" things. She is independent and self-sufficient. She does not want to get married. She is outspoken and bold. She avoids going so far beyond the rules of her society that she would be labelled disreputable: she has a secret lover, but she does not tell her father about him.
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Alternative Title(s): Un Dimanche A La Campagne

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