|Directed by||Bertrand Blier|
|Produced by||Alain Sarde|
|Written by||Bertrand Blier|
|Music by||Philippe Sarde|
|Edited by||Claudine Merlin|
|Distributed by||Parafrance Films|
|Release date(s)||16 September 1981|
|Running time||123 minutes|
Beau-père is a 1981 French comedy-drama film directed by Bertrand Blier. It is about a 30-year-old pianist who has an affair with his 14-year-old stepdaughter after her mother dies in a car accident. The film was entered into the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and received some positive reviews in spite of its controversial subject.
Rémi (Patrick Dewaere) is a struggling pianist with a wife named Martine (Nicole Garcia), a model who is getting too old to find desirable work, and a 14-year-old stepdaughter Marion (Ariel Besse). When Martine is killed in a car crash, Marion expresses her desire to stay with Rémi in their apartment, but is taken away by her father Charly (Maurice Ronet), an alcoholic who dislikes Rémi. Marion comes back, much to her father's disapproval, and takes up babysitting to help make ends meet while Rémi gives piano lessons. Soon, Marion tells Rémi she is physically attracted to him, but he resists her advances because of her young age.
When Marion proves to be ailing, she is sent to the mountains while Rémi loses his apartment and moves in with friends. A broken man, he meets with Marion and they have sex in a hotel. She comes back to live with him in a new home, and although he first resists any more sex, gradually gives in. While visiting, Marion's father at one point sees the two embrace. He asks them if they are having an affair, but when Rémi objects, Charly apologizes and leaves. Eventually Rémi takes interest in an older woman, Charlotte (Nathalie Baye), who is also a more skilled piano player, while Marion also seeks out a substitute for him and moves back in with her father.
Writer and director Bertrand Blier declared Beau Pere, was intended as "an ode to the fair sex and to womanhood in its purest form." It stars Patrick Dewaere, and is one of his last films, as well as Ariel Besse in her first film role. Besse played the character as an "extremely changeable creature, childish one minute and precocious the next."
The film has received positive reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes counting four favourable reviews out of five. The Chicago Reader observes similarities to Lolita and says Beau Pere "has enough of Blier's customary taboo-busting vigor to provide a reasonably unsettling good time." In his 2002 Movie & Video Guide, Leonard Maltin gives the film three and a half stars and calls it thoughtful and sensitive. Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote in 1981 that despite the objectionable subject matter, "Mr. Blier tells this story very gently, with as much attention to the humor of the situation as to its eroticism." James Berardinelli of ReelViews credits the film with a "provocative script featuring well-defined characters and a pair of powerful performances." People calls the film convincing and touching, and in spite of the topic, not pornographic. Conversely, New York called the film "heavy-handed and sluggish."
- Patrick Dewaere as Rémi
- Ariel Besse as Marion
- Maurice Ronet as Charly
- Geneviève Mnich as Simone
- Maurice Risch as Nicolas
- Macha Méril as Birthday Hostess
- Rose Thiéry as Mme Doullens, Landlord's wife
- Pierre Le Rumeur as Pediatrician
- Yves Gasc as M. Doullens, Landlord
- Michel Berto as Professor
- Catherine Alcover as Emergency Doctor
- Henri-Jacques Huet as Restaurant manager
- Jacques Rispal as Taxi driver
- Nathalie Baye as Charlotte
- Nicole Garcia as Martine
- Maurice Biraud as Truck driver, accident witness
- Joseph Michael Roth as Marion's friend (uncredited)
- Sandy Whitelaw as The father of the young girl (birthday) (uncredited)
- Leonard Maltin, ed., Leonard Maltin's 2002 Movie & Video Guide. A Signet Book, 2001, p. 97.
- "Festival de Cannes: Beau-père". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
- Janet Maslin, "'BEAU PERE,' BY BERTRAND BLIER," The New York Times, October 9, 1981, URL accessed March 2, 2013.
- Dave Kehr, "Beau Pere," Chicago Reader, URL accessed March 1, 2013.
- James Berardinelli, "Beau Pere," ReelViews, 1999, URL accessed March 1, 2013.
- "Beau Père (1981)," Rotten Tomatoes, URL accessed March 1, 2013.
- "Picks and Pans Review: Beau Pere," People, November 30, 1981, Vol. 16, No. 22.
- David Denby, "Little Girl Blues," New York, November 2, 1981, p. 58.
- "Past Award Winners," Boston Society of Film Critics, URL accessed March 1, 2013.