Daddy Nostalgia is a brilliant French film directed by Bertrand Tavernier (Life and Nothing But). When Caroline (Jane Birken), a divorced screenplay writer who lives in Paris with her son, learns that her English-born father (Dirk Bogarde) is seriously ill, she drops everything to be by his side. Following heart surgery, he is recuperating at a small villa in the south of France. Caroline takes this opportunity to get to know him better.
Her French-born mother Miche (Odette Laure), after years of loneliness while her husband traveled, has little in common with him now that they are together all the time. Although Caroline finds it hard to tolerate Miche's cocooning in Catholicism and bridge games with her friends, she is grateful to have some quality time alone with her father. Ignored by him when she was young, Caroline treasures their trips to the bar after her mother has gone to bed and as short jaunt to Cannes. Looking back over his life, he tells her, "I have no regrets, in fact, I envy me."
The sensitive screenplay by Golo Tavernier O'Hagan circles around the soft edges of this father-daughter reunion while also touching upon the bittersweet nature of a marriage which has lost its intimacy and vitality. At one point, Caroline's father, a charming but selfish man, says to her ruefully, "The sweetness of life is terribly perishable." Daddy Nostalgia compels us to savor that sweetness with open hearts.