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The Odyssey

Based on Albert Falco and Yves Paccalet's non-fiction book Capitaine De La Calypso, The Odyssey is a French biographical drama that explores the relationship between biologist and adventurer Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Lambert Wilson) and his favoured son Philippe (Pierre Niney). Director Jerome Salle opens with the 1979 plane crash involving Philippe then rewinds to chart Jacques' rise to fame from the 1940s with the unstinting support of his wife, Simone Melchior Cousteau (Audrey Tautou). At first, Jacques makes time for her and his two boys, Jean-Michel (Benjamin Lavernhe) and Philippe, but new-found success places greater demands on his time. He neglects Simone and dispatches the boys to boarding school so he can focus on re-imagining the art of underwater photography, aided by his friend and colleague Philippe Tailliez (Laurent Lucas). Jacques becomes a worldwide sensation but the drug of celebrity wrecks personal relationships and the biologist fights forlornly to rebuild bridges to the people closest to him.