#SheReviews: Mr Blake At Your Service – Ruth Greening

July 8, 2024

Mr Blake At Your Service movie is a glorious combination of clever romantic comedy and drama.  Indeed an enchanting film where the story ebbs and flows, from humour to sadness wondering if the ending will be as we hope. 

Based on  Gilles Legardinier’s international hit novel, Complètement Cramé!, it is understandable why it was translated into 17 languages and sold over a million copies across 22 countries. Translated to English, Completement Crame means Completely Burnt Out.

Starring the incomparable John Malkovich he takes on the role of butler, and I loved the fact he spoke in French, such a bonus. His quiet humour is attractive,  he plays his character perfectly. French screen icon Fanny Ardant is gorgeous and smart as she plays the role of the graceful and aloof Madame de Beauvillier, owner of the the once-distinguished manor house. 

The Story

A widowed well-to-do British businessman, Andrew Blake,  (John Malkovich) is trying to keep the memories of his late French wife alive and decides to visit an old French manor in France where they met. 

On his arrival, the magnificent Domaine de Beauvillier estate was sadly in disrepair and since the devastating loss of his wife wondered if he should have returned. Unsure of what he was seeking, he had lost his meaning in life and was tired of the business world he lived in. He questioned his reason for living and his friends back home were concerned for his welfare. 

Yet life works in the strangest of ways. An unusual turn of events occurs when he arrives. Not knowing who Mr Blake really is at the manor, through a strange twist of fate, he is hired as a butler. Owned by the most elegant, proud and graceful Madame de Beauvillier (Fanny Ardant) she is also dealing with her battles but continues to hold her head high.  

His life takes an out-of-control turn as he navigates the eccentric behaviour of the widowed lady of the manor Nathalie (Fanny Arant) and the household staff. Odile the cook (Emilie Dequenne), Manon (Eugenie Anselin) the cleaning girl, and Magnier (Philippe Bas) the well-groomed manager, all have their situations that Mr Blake reluctantly becomes caught up in.  

Somehow, the arrival of this very British guest spurs everyone back to life, prompting them to start working together to restore the manor’s former beauty. The result for Mr Blake At Your Service , will be a new lease of life for the Beauvillier estate and everyone living on it. 

A lovely warm-hearted movie that gives you hope. 

Cast and Crew

Director-Gilles Legardinier.  Star Cast-John Malkovich, Fanny Ardant, Émilie Dequenne

In Cinemas July 18    #Rialto Distribution 

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