The Prodigal Daughter

Watch The Prodigal Daughter

  • NR
  • 1981
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 5.9  (210)

The Prodigal Daughter is a 1981 French film directed by Jacques Doillon and starring Jane Birkin, Michel Piccoli, and Natasha Parry. The story revolves around a young woman named Camille (played by Birkin), who returns to her family's home after being away for several years. Camille's mother, Louise (played by Parry), is overjoyed to have her daughter back home and eagerly welcomes her back into the family. However, Camille's father, Georges (played by Piccoli), is far more reserved and distant, causing tension between him and Camille.

As the story unfolds, we learn that Camille left home several years earlier after having an affair with her father's best friend, a man named Lucien. Despite the gravity of her transgression, Louise forgives Camille and welcomes her back home with open arms.

But Camille's relationship with her father remains strained, and the two struggle to reconnect over the course of the film. Along the way, we are introduced to a cast of complex and nuanced characters, each grappling with their own demons and desires.

At the heart of the film is the deeply conflicted relationship between Camille and Georges, which is portrayed with sensitivity and depth by both Birkin and Piccoli. Through their interactions, we see the complex interplay of love, resentment, and regret that exists between parent and child.

One of the film's most striking aspects is its raw, naturalistic style, which eschews the traditional trappings of Hollywood melodrama in favor of a more grounded, realistic approach. The camera lingers on characters' faces, capturing the quiet moments of pain and reflection that are often overlooked in more bombastic films.

Similarly, the performances are understated and nuanced, with Birkin and Piccoli delivering powerful, understated performances that perfectly capture the emotional subtleties of their characters.

Overall, The Prodigal Daughter is a deeply moving and thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of family relationships with sensitivity and depth. Its raw, naturalistic style and nuanced performances make it a standout of French cinema and a must-see for fans of character-driven dramas.

The Prodigal Daughter
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (210)