In 1942, in an occupied Paris, the apolitical grocer Edmond Batignole lives with his wife and daughter in a small apartment in the building of his grocery. When his future son-in-law and ... See full summary »
Two friends, one a musician the other constantly depressed wander around Greece and France till they get to Paris without a penny to their name. Here they spend nights in the underground, ... See full summary »
Squale, an ace spy, is called back from South America to carry out a tough operation. Goal: dismantle an international arms traffic masterminded by an important French government official. ... See full summary »
Auntie Danielle, supposedly in ailing health but in reality just a nasty old bitch, lives with a paid housekeeper who she regularly abuses. When the housekeeper dies falling off a ladder, ... See full summary »
The Parisian broker Steph only needs the signature from his wife Patricia for their divorce - but she left 13 years ago for living with Amazonas indians. Steph finds her in the village and ... See full summary »
Michel Berthier has been an executive in a mattress firm for ten years. One day, he's learning that he is fired. He doesn't want to reveal it to his wife Juliette and tries to artificially his life. But within a few weeks, things happen quickly: he is thrown out from his home by his wife and finds himself out on the street. It's there that he meets a bunch of homeless people who support him by their friendship. They live by begging, tricks and petty thefts.
For his fourth passage behind the camera, Gérard Jugnot decided to look into one of the biggest dramas of our time: the increase of the new poor and the homeless. For this, it is virtually certain that Frank Capra's cinema was his main source of inspiration. The studied topic and the treatment that is made of it warn the spectator that we are not on an original land (a dramatic topic treated on a comedy tone). However, Jugnot found the balance in his screenplay to alternate moments of tenderness, emotion and hoots of laughter. It is a shame that vulgarity and easiness often spoil the pleasure we take to watch this film.
Where Jugnot appears interesting is in the way he perceives these new poor who live hand to mouth. His outcasts are more generous than embittered, friendlier than revolted. They are especially linked by values which Western society doesn't seem to know any more: solidarity, trust and fidelity. Without them, it is impossible to manage all alone. The best proof of it can be found at the end of the film. Indeed, Michel's friends help him to reconquer the heart of his wife.
Eventually, the performance of the actors is widely sufficient to justify the view of Jugnot's opus, especially Richard Borhinger's.
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