Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In this measured, leisurely paced melodrama, a kindly village pharmacist is transformed by drink into a brute when he leaves work and returns home, terrorizing his wife, son, and handicapped daughter. When his drinking causes problems on the job, he checks into a rehabilitation clinic and for a brief time afterwards his family relations are better. However, drink has not lost its spell over him, and he soon returns to the bottle more avidly than before, with tragic results. This first-time feature by director Xavier Beauvois won the critics' award at the 1991 Montreal Film Festival.