Opening December 8, 2016
Directed by: Jérôme Salle
Writing credits: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Albert Falco, Franck Machu, Brad Matsen, Jérôme Salle, Laurent Turner
Principal actors: Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, Audrey Tautou, Chloe Hirshman
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Wilson) was a pilot who could no longer fly. Grounded, he looked at a globe and marveled at the vast oceans covering over seventy percent of the Earth which were virtually unexplored below the surface. His wife Simone (Tautou) shared his enthusiasm for adventure. Jacques leased an old minesweeper, Calypso, for a dollar a year from an enterprising business man and Simone sold her jewels to buy fuel and equipment. They sent their two young sons off to boarding school and then sailed around the world making television shows and other films about their explorations while at the same time locating potential oil reserves for their benefactor.
The personal story of Jacques presents a side of the genius that most people probably did not know. It is not very flattering. His wife Simone spends the better part of forty years on the Calypso, choosing to leave Jacques to pursue his affairs on land. When their son Phillipe (Pierre Niney) joins them on Calypso all grown up, he begins to affect how his parents view their mission as he works to save the environment they all so treasure. That is, until tragedy strikes.
The underwater photography shot for this film is truly stunning and reason enough to revisit the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau. Learning a bit about the Cousteau family and how they changed the way we look at our oceans is just a bonus. (Mary W.)