Sunday, August 07, 2011

Le Havre

Described by its Finnish director, Aki Kaurismäki, as an “unrealistic film”. Described by the the Film Festival programme as a comedy. Described elsewhere as a political movie. While there is lightest sprinkling of funny moments in Le Havre and illegal immigration is a political issue, I agree with the director.

Le Havre is a simple story of an old shoe-shine man who tries to save a refugee. It is told in an unrealistic style that is reminiscent of 1950s films in a way that is hard to put your finger on. For me the stand-out character is Inspector Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin - the gardener in Conversations with my gardener) who drives a Renault 16 and channels Casablanca's Captain Renault (Claude Rains) - I doubt this is a coincidence. Unfortunately this one performance, the few odd-ball moments and Elina Salo's smile don't add up to the ticket price.

View trailer

Critics at Cannes liked this film, but in my opinion Romantics Anonymous is a far better French comedy.

Ian's rating 1/5 Anne's rating 2/5

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