Joe, international poker player, is considered an irresponsible family-chief. His two sons drifted into gangsterism. The older dies from it. The younger, Manu, was sentenced to death. Joe takes on to a terrific battle in order to save his son. Will he succeed in it? For life has more than one trick in its well-worn sleeve.
Joe, international poker player, is considered an irresponsible family-chief. His two sons drifted into gangsterism. The older dies from it. The younger, Manu, was sentenced to death. Joe takes on to a terrific battle in order to save his son. Will he succeed in it? For life has more than one trick in its well-worn sleeve. Written by
It's not the first time José Giovanni has tackled this burning subject.In the seventies,two of his movies deal with it:the first one "2 Hommes dans la Ville' casts Alain Delon as a man who ends his life on the guillotine:the movie is very one -sided -with a cardboard character for the great Michel Bouquet !-,but the final scene packs a real wallop.More implicitly,in 1976, "comme un boomerang" serves as some kind of blueprint for was to become "Mon Père...":a young man has killed a cop and now he is in jail and his father (Delon again) , a former gangster,desperately tries to save him.Unfortunately,who could buy the philosophy of this work? Justice is unfair with the Rich whose biggest sin is to be rich!!who could swallow that?
"Mon père" is a different matter,because it's Giovanni's story itself.André Cayatte's influences ("nous sommes tous des assassins" ,1952)are constantly in evidence in the first hour .And the impact has diminished since Cayatte 's days because of the abolishment of death penalty in France by François Mitterrand in 1981.Flashbacks are not necessary very original and anyway I must admit that I'm not a Bruno Cremer fan.The last fifteen minutes are redundant and flatter the director's ego.It's the success story all over again and it destroys a bit of the emotion.Besides,the movie succumbs to the worst clichés of melodrama:"yes,the cards did tell he would survive and become famous"even if it happened in real life,is-it necessary to feature such elements in a two-hour movie?
Despite these reservations which some will find severe,"Mon père" is a movie which deserves to be seen ,because of its documentary look at the death row ,and the depiction of the prisoners' terror is filmed by GIovanni with conviction ,because he 's been through it all.
After "le trou" ,which was a Jacques Becker masterpiece -Becker was dying at the time and the failure of the escape was a harsh metaphor for the impossibility for a man to escape death-,Giovanni became a talented scriptwriter and a minor but sometimes endearing generous director whose best works are his first ones :"la Loi du Survivant" ,the exotic and underrated "le Rapace" ,"Dernier Domicile Connu" and "Où est passé Tom?".Giovanni's scores -often by the late François de Roubaix- are always tasteful .
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