With his iconic red cap, Jacques Cousteau is one of France’s most recognizable cultural figures. The life of the – among other things – explorer, researcher and filmmaker is now explored in The Odyssey (titled Jacques in Spain), a biographical adventure film written and directed by Jérôme Salle (Largo Winch, Zulu) and largely based on the book Capitaine de la Calypso by Albert Falco and Yves Paccalet.
Lambert Wilson gives a solid performance as Cousteau himself. While detailing his purchase of the Calypso and his travels across the ocean along with wife Simone (Audrey Tautou) and older son Jean-Michel (Benjamin Lavernhe), the emotional focus for the film is Cousteau’s difficult relationship with his younger son, Philippe. Played by Pierre Niney, the troubled Philippe – who tragically died in a plane crash in 1979 – marks a contrast with the more gung-ho, passionate Cousteau.
Filmed in multiple locations including South Africa and Antarctica, this visually striking film gives an interesting insight into the life behind the legend. (Shown in French with Spanish subtitles at Cinemes Méliès and Yelmo Cines Icaria.)