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By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014. Written 27th April 2014. Revised 28th April 2014. Revised 7th May 2014. Revised 2nd January 2015.
REVIEW: "THE FINISHERS" by Jayne Waterford

I cried heaps through this film.

Nils Tavernier's "THE FINISHERS" (2013) is a story of a high-maintenance young man. Called Pet through out his life by his attentive, 24-hour-a-day, present mother 18 year old Julien (Fabien Heraud) breaks through to his father, completes a 42 km Ironman competition and becomes a young man.

It's a nice family. We enjoy their company. Different realities are built into their physicality. The shape of Julien's face resonates in those around him. Julien's body is lean and athletic like his parents. "THE FINISHERS" goes some way to minimise any difference between Julien and his contemporaries.

In training and on the race itself there are lonely moments when endurance happens in isolation. Paul (Jacques Gamblin) breaks down and wants to stop on the home stretch. Julien, grabs his wheels and motivates his father to keep going.

The best thing about this film is performance. We really do spend time with a prickly family of athletes. And Alexandra Lamy looks exactly like Jane Lynch. 8/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Nils Tavernier's
Director Nils Tavernier
Producer Philip Boeffard & Christophe Rossignon
Stars Jacques Gamblin (Paul), Alexandra Lamy (Claire), Fabien Heraud (Julien), Sophie De Furst (Sophie), Pablo Pauly (Yohan) and Xavier Mathieu (Sergio)
Release Date 17th April 2014
Category Drama
Running Time
Rating PG
Origin France
Awards Opening Night Film 2014 French Film Festival Official Selection 2013 Toronto Film Festival

Official Blurb "Julien is 17, has a great sense of humour, bags of charm, and is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy.

Despite their love for him, his family is gradually falling

apart under the strain of dealing with his disability. In a bid to bond with his father, Julien challenges him to participate with him in the Ironman race in Nice (French Riviera), a triathlon in which his father has previously competed.

This trial is already exceptional, but it becomes almost impossible if one has to help a disabled youth throughout the course. Beyond the sporting exploit, this is the story of one family’s exemplary combat, and a moving portrait of the love between a father and his son." - MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT PR

Director: Nils Tavernier
© Nord-Ouest Films 2013
Julien (Fabien Heraud) & Paul (Jacques Gamblin) in Nils Tavernier's "THE FINISHERS" (2013)
© Nord-Ouest Films 2013
Claire (Alexandra Lamy) confronts limitations placed on her during the race in Nils Tavernier's "THE FINISHERS" (2013)
© Nord-Ouest Films 2013
The Ironman competition is a great personal chalenge for Paul (Jacques Gamblin) in Nils Tavernier's "THE FINISHERS" (2013)
© Nord-Ouest Films 2013