Beau Travail (1999)
"Beau travail" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  3 May 2000 (France)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,889 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 68 user | 65 critic | 20 from

This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gilles Sentain
Richard Courcet ...
Adiatou Massudi ...
Mickael Ravovski ...
Dan Herzberg ...
Giuseppe Molino ...
Gianfranco Poddighe ...
Marc Veh ...
Thong Duy Nguyen ...
Jean-Yves Vivet ...
Bernardo Montet ...
Dimitri Tsiapkinis ...


This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup's mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself. Written by L.H. Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

3 May 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Beau Travail  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,003 (USA) (31 March 2000)


$247,606 (USA) (17 November 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michel Subor previously played Bruno Forestier 37 years earlier in Godard's Le Petit Soldat (1963). See more »


Commander Bruno Forestier: If it weren't for fornication and blood, we wouldn't be here.
See more »


Version of Billy Budd (1966) See more »


The Rhythm of the night
Performed by Corona
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User Reviews

Most powerful ending since Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev"
8 December 2000 | by (Planet X) – See all my reviews

"French Foreign Legion of the mind" is close, but I think a better epitome would be a meditation on wasted potential. If there is a theme that runs through Claire Denis' movies, it is civilization and its discontents, and this is her best work on the subject yet. The imagery alludes to Antonioni's "The Passenger" and rightly so: both films treat the annihilation of identity, although Denis' vision is ultimately darker. The last scene is the most haunting since the ending to Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev."

Sure, the voice-over is awkward, but Calvin Klein is absolutely the wrong referent here. Far apter would be Leni Riefenstahl.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Galoup's Dance commanderbigpants
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