The villa

The villa
Original title:Maison de retraite
Director:Thomas Gilou
Running time:97 minutes
Release date:16 february 2022 (France)
To avoid jail time, 30-year-old Milann is forced to do 300 hours of community service at a retirement home, Les Mimosas. His first few weeks are a living hell! But he is quickly adopted by the pensioners, and in particular by a group of 7 inseparable friends who, each in their own way, teach him their vision of life. As the weeks go by, Milann discovers that the establishment is taking advantage of its residents' vulnerability to rip them off. So he decides to organize a great escape, but he's not out of the woods yet...

Mulder's Review

The Villa offers a heartwarming and entertaining journey into the lives of the residents of a retirement home, with the unexpected but delightful inclusion of Gérard Depardieu in the role of former boxing champion, Lino Varton. The film's premise centers on the residents' rebellion against the nursing home's apparently crooked supervisor, played by Kev Adams, who is also the story's co-producer and co-writer.

One of the highlights of the film is its star-studded cast, including not only Gérard Depardieu, but also the talented Mylène Demongeot and Liliane Rovere. The chemistry between these seasoned actors lends depth and authenticity to the characters, making their interactions a pleasure to watch. The introduction of Milann, played by Kev Adams, as an insipid character sentenced to community service, injects humor and serves as a catalyst for the story's transformation.

The plot follows a predictable trajectory, but successfully avoids falling into the trap of clichéd sentimentality. The balance between comedy and poignancy is skilfully maintained throughout, preventing the film from becoming too saccharine. Kev Adams' portrayal of Milann's evolution from someone who dislikes the elderly to someone who finds valuable lessons in their company is marked by moments of nervous astonishment that really resonate with the audience.

Gérard Depardieu, as Lino, brings a sense of authenticity and gravitas to the character. His performance captures the dignity and determination of a man who insists on living his life as he sees fit, adding a layer of depth to the overall story. The characters' camaraderie and everyday games contribute to the film's charm and make it an enjoyable experience for the audience.

Although the script may adhere to a familiar formula, La Villa stands out for the skillful execution of its storytelling, the well-balanced performances of the actors and the overall feel-good atmosphere it creates. The film successfully explores themes of friendship, resilience and the importance of embracing life, even at an advanced stage. La Villa is a testament to the enduring power of genuine connections and the ability to find joy in unexpected places.

La Villa is a delightful cinematic experience that manages to lift the spirits of its audience. With its blend of seasoned performances, a well-crafted script and a touch of humor, the film proves that even in the twilight of life, there's room for laughter, camaraderie and discovering the best in yourself.

The Villa (Maison de retraite)
Directed by Thomas Gilou
Produced by Kev Adams, Stanislas Wawrinka et Élisa Soussan
Written by ev Adams, Catherine Diament
Starring Kev Adams, Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Prévost, Mylène Demongeot, Jean-Luc Bideau, Liliane Rovère, Firmine Richard, Marthe Villalonga, Marianne Garcia, Antoine Duléry, Jarry, Manda Touré 
Music by Julien Cohen, Claude Morgan
Cinematography : Pierric Gantelmi d'Ille
Edited by Sandro Lavezzi
Production companies : My Family, TF1, Sofica SofiTVCiné 8
Distributed by UGC Distribution
Release date : February 16 2022 (France)
Running time : 97 minutes

Seen February 18, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village

Mulder's Mark: