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Germinal Emile Zola's novel, Germinal of the hardships of coal-mining life in 19th-century France gets an ironically picturesque and needlessly...GerminalHistorical, Drama, Foreign LanguageR Emile Zola's novel, Germinal of the hardships of coal-mining life in 19th-century France gets an ironically picturesque and needlessly...1994-11-25
C

Germinal

Genre: Historical, Drama, Foreign Language; Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Miou-Miou; Director: Claude Berri; MPAA Rating: R

Emile Zola’s novel, Germinal of the hardships of coal-mining life in 19th-century France gets an ironically picturesque and needlessly protracted (2 hours and 38 minutes) adaptation by Claude Berri, director of Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring. Misery has seldom looked so ravishing. One crisis follows another as Gerard Depardieu (so craggy that he’s starting to resemble a sculpted Rodin peasant) leads a strike, and the indomitable wife (Miou-Miou) puts Mother Courage to shame. While some of Zola’s sweeping narrative power does come through, this is for those who like their harsh realities in deluxe binding. C

Originally posted November 25 1994 — 12:00 AM EST

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