Great combination of touching drama and absurd humor, starring a brilliant Benoît Poelvoorde
LES CONVOYEURS ATTENDENT was the first film I saw in 2000 and I doubt I'll see a better one this year. This beautiful tragicomedy by Belgian filmmaker Benoît Mariage is set in the industrial wastelands of Wallonia. Benoît Poelvoorde plays a father who desperately wants his son to win a car (a Lada!) for him. To do this the son has to break the record opening doors. What the father actually wants his for his son to be someone, because he himself has never made it further as the reporter of local news for a newspaper ironically called L'Espoir (Hope). Of course nothing works out as planned. This film can best be compared to Aki Kaurismäki's DRIFTING CLOUDS, although it is more dramatic and the humour is darker. Just like in that film however the tone is more melancholic than depressing and the ending upbeat, without being unrealistically happy. The humour is absurd, without making the plot unbelievable, and Mariage finds stunning images in the bleak settings that never seem artificial. The best thing about LES CONVOYEURS ATTENDENT is the acting by Poelvoorde. This actor shot to fame with the also brilliant cult-classic C'EST ARRIVÉ PRÈS DE CHEZ VOUS in which he played the charismatic hitman Ben. Since then he only played two small roles in films that were not released in the Netherlands, because, as he said in an interview, he was not convinced of his own acting capabilities and all the roles he was offered were reprises of the Ben character. With his return to a leading role in LCA there should be no doubt anymore about his acting. He's simply brilliant as a man stupid and evil enough to put his family in misery, but smart enough to realize what he's done and be torn by remorse about it. A must see.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?