The Proprietor ★★ 1996 (R)
Thinly disguised as a returningtoyourroots and facingyourghosts drama, film is actually a celluloid shrine to its Gallic star, the legendary Moreau, who plays a legendary Gallic novelist, Adrienne Mark. Mark, after residing in New York for 30 years, reclaims her Jewish identity and returns to Paris to buy the home in which she grew up with her mother, who was killed in WWII. Famous for writing the novel “Call Me French,” which became a highly acclaimed French film and a current American remake, Mark's primary struggle to come to grips with her mother's death is overshadowed by a bevy of subplots that compete with one another. Young as a sassy and somewhat stereotypical Hollywood producer; Carter as Milly the loyal housekeeper; Waterston, an antique dealer; and Billy, NYC video artist and adoring Mark fan, all add to the confusion. Moreau tries her best to give life to the saintly lead figure, but the comainducing sugar level of her character's goodness is overwhelming. Director Merchant's sophomore effort, though wellacted, is a good idea, poorly told. 105m/C VHS . Jeanne Moreau, Sean Young, Sam Waterston, Nell Carter, Austin Pendleton, Pierre Vaneck, Christopher Cazenove, JeanPierre Aumont, Josh Hamilton, Marc Tissot; D: Ismail Merchant; W: JeanMarie Besset, George Trow; C: Larry Pizer; M: Richard Robbins.