France, 1915. With the men of the family away fighting the Great War on the front lines, life for the women at home on the Paridier farm gains a new resonance as they take the reins of the family property in the absence of their husbands and sons. Family matriarch Hortense Sandrail (Nathalie Baye) and her daughter Solange (Laura Smet) have deftly taken over the day-to-day operations of the farm, but with harvest time coming it is clear they will need more help to handle the workload. Finding themselves too late in the season to hire an experienced male farmhand, the Sandrails reluctantly take on an outsider, hard-luck teenaged orphan Francine Riant (newcomer Iris Bry). Francine immediately proves herself to be a hard-worker up to any task, becoming invaluable to the Sandrails as the trio of women make technical innovations and explore newfound independence on the homestead. But when Hortense's son Georges returns home on leave, a burgeoning romance with Francine disturbs the fragile order on the farm and creates new divisions and loyalties. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Xavier Beauvois (César Award-winner for OF GODS AND MEN), THE GUARDIANS is a sweeping human drama of love, loss and resilience that unfolds against the mysterious and beautiful French countryside.
|Anne-Cécile Le Quere|