The Sense of Wonder (Le goût des merveilles) is a sweet French film

Virginie Efira in The Sense of Wonder

The Sense of Wonder (Le goût des merveilles) is a sweet story about a struggling mom of two, Louise (Virginie Efira), and a neurodivergent man she accidentally hits with her car. It’s streaming on Prime Video.

Benjamin Lavernhe in The Sense of Wonder

The Sense of Wonder (Le goût des merveilles) treats the character Pierre (Benjamin Lavernhe) as valuable and effective. It is explained that Pierre was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. I thought Pierre’s sensitive treatment was the best aspect of this 2015 film.

Virginie Efira in The Sense of Wonder

Louise (Virginie Efira) is a widow with two children and a pear orchard to maintain and pay off. She’s struggling with money problems when she meets Pierre.

Pierre’s interpersonal skills are different. He finds ways to get himself into Louise’s life and help her without actually being invited or wanted. He makes himself useful in his own unique way. Soon Louise is seeing Pierre in new ways and is grateful for his help.

Pierre had been living with Jules (Hervé Pierre), a bookstore owner. Jules understood him. He helped protect him from the psychiatrist who wanted to institutionalize him.

Pierre, who had read and memorized every book in the store, stopped reading when he met Louise. Instead he wandered among the pear trees, in the lavender fields, and in sunflower fields. He watched the clouds and stayed close to Louise and her family. She seemed to calm him.

Pierre wore a suit no matter what he was doing. He organized everything around him, including Louise’s home and kitchen.

Although there was love among the characters, this was not a traditional love story or romcom. It was tender and kind and beautiful to watch – the camera understood Pierre’s sense of wonder and showed it to us. If you are interested in the way neuro-divergent individuals are portrayed in films, this is an example of doing it well.

The Sense of Wonder poster

Have a look at the trailer.

Does this look like a film you would enjoy?

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. She's Old Ain't Dead!

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