[dir: Jerome Salle, 2016, 122 mins]
Featuring a gleaming French cast including Audrey Tautou, director Jerome Salle takes us on a voyage through the life of legendary French oceanographer, environmentalist and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau.
Taking in locations from across the globe, Salle gives us a flawed Cousteau, a visionary who struggled to reconcile his boundless ambition with his roles as a father and husband. The film’s emotional crux is Cousteau’s stormy relationship with his son Philippe, the former’s indomitable sense of adventure and discovery clashing with the latter’s conservationist stance. The two journey together towards Antarctica’s harsh beauty, finding there the bonds that would unite them before tragedy.
The eternal drama of the father-son dynamic is married to breathtaking scenes captured underwater, a glimpse of the world that fired Cousteau’s pioneering passion and spirit. Salle’s biopic never veers from Cousteau’s darker elements, yet pays fine tribute to his undeniable legacy as one of France’s most enduring cultural icons.
Preview screening courtesy of Altitude Film Distribution. Presented by Arts & Science Festival in partnership with mac Birmingham as part of Homer’s Odyssey Today, a series of events focusing on the Odyssey’s afterlife from a variety of perspectives.