My Father's Glory

Movie review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
My Father's Glory Movie Poster Image
Poignant French memoir has innocent nudity, kids smoking.
  • G
  • 2002
  • 110 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There's a lot here about learning to accept and appreciate parents for who they are rather than be disappointed that they're not perfect. There's much discussion about lying as well; adults tell lies to children and say to Marcel that "it's okay to lie when it's for a child's own benefit."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Throughout his early childhood, Marcel is extremely curious about the world and extremely bright. He can be quick to lie, though, and extremely upset when he's lied to by adults. His parents are doting and proud of him. His father, an atheist, makes a number of comments about Catholics, but eventually befriends a priest who introduces him to photography.

Violence

Hunting game birds in the country figures prominently. There's plenty of shooting of old rifles and at one point Marcel's uncle and father are unaware that they are being followed by him on a hunt. Large birds of prey and their ability to gouge out eyes becomes a big fear for Marcel who sees them circling, swooping, and nesting. A lightning storm takes out part of a hillside while boys watch nearby.

Sex

Boys are completely naked in two non-sexual scenes -- once while bathing outdoors and again when they are stripped of their wet, cold clothes; in the bathing scene you can see their penises but you mostly see backsides. Part of a bare breast is shown as boys wonder about their mother breastfeeding. There's much talk about how babies are born.

Language

"Piss" and "a--hole."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Boys smoke sticks in the country (the DVD menu depicts this scene) and adults drink wine. A drink is taken away from Marcel right after it's poured in front of him.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this G-rated French film based on the memoirs of novelist Marcel Pagnol won't feel quite as G-rated to some American viewers. Boys frolic naked (everything is visible) while bathing outdoors, Marcel's mom is shown breastfeeding, there's a lot of talk about how babies are born (and the wrong conclusion is reached), and boys smoke sticks in the country. Also, Marcel's dad works hard to become a competent hunter and eventually shoots two birds. This story takes place in 1900 showing kids what a typical school looked like back then and shows the beauty of the untamed French countryside.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCSM Screen name... March 29, 2014

great movie

My fathers glory is about a boy named marselle who thinks his parents are perfect. His family rents a house in the country, here he finds some of his fathers fa... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 20, 2014

Many Great Life Lessons to Learn!

My Fathers Glory is a very well made movie that is about a young boy who learns important life lessons as he grows up. Marcel, the little boy, is a very curious... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byFaith Andreasen March 30, 2014

A Young Boys Struggles Throughout His Childhood

My Father's Glory , is a movie about a young boy named Marcel and his trials through his childhood.Marcel is a smart, unique, and curious young bot who lov... Continue reading

What's the story?

Acclaimed French novelist Marcel Pagnol remembers snippets of his childhood as a school teacher's oldest and most precocious son. He can read before kindergarten and his mother (Nathalie Roussel) forbids it -- his brain could explode. When he finally enters school he's told to keep quiet while the other kids catch up, so he daydreams. He witnesses the courtship of his Aunt Rose (Therese Liotard) and comes to admire his Uncle Jules (Didier Pain), who takes Marcel's family with them to a summer holiday in the French countryside when Marcel is 11 (Julien Ciamaca). Marcel declares that summer the best of his life as he befriends a local boy who shows him everything about living in the country and watches with some trepidation his bookworm father (Philippe Caubere) try his hand at hunting.

Is it any good?

Anyone with nostalgia for their favorite lazy get-away-from-it-all vacation will enjoy this memoir. Kids who can't look back on enough summers to have nostalgia may get a little bored, except when Marcel meets his country friend and they get into some serious exploring.

The acting seems a little clunky -- maybe it's the dubbing getting in the way -- but the remembrances of childhood Pagnol selects to piece together still hold a poignancy, and sometimes real humor. His father's hunting exploits are both funny and an important moment in Marcel's understanding of who is father is. It's enough to make the viewer wish, along with Marcel, that his summer would never end.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the process of creating a memoir. How are they constructed differently? Why do you think the author included snippets from different parts of his childhood? Does it feel like a complete story?

  • What did you learn about life in the year 1900? Why didn't Marcel's father want a telephone in the house? Why do you think Marcel's mother thought it was dangerous for him to read so young?

  • How are French movies different from American ones? How would this movie be different if it was produced in Hollywood?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love nostalgia

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