19 user 31 critic

The Town Is Quiet (2000)

La ville est tranquille (original title)
A dark tale of working-class life in Marseilles, a city in crisis. Interesting characters include a hard-bitten but compassionate fish market worker with a drug addicted daughter and a ... See full summary »



(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue)

On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Marius is the keeper of an abandonned cement works staying high above the quarter of l'Estaque in Marseilles. Jeannette is bringing up her two children alone with her poor checkout operator... See full summary »

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Ariane Ascaride, Gérard Meylan, Pascale Roberts
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A union pensioner and his wife are robbed, but find that merely getting the assailants brought to justice is not enough for their consciences.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gérard Meylan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In a small isolated village, in 1953, a wedding is interrupted by the news about the death of Stalin. Because any public celebration is forbidden, they decide to turn the happy event into a silent wedding.

Director: Horatiu Malaele
Stars: Meda Andreea Victor, Alexandru Potocean, Valentin Teodosiu
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Manuel, 9, has an old ball with which he plays football every day in the countryside. He dreams of becoming a great goalkeeper. His wishes seem set to come true when Ernest, his father, ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos César Arbeláez
Stars: Hernán Mauricio Ocampo, Nolberto Sánchez, Genaro Aristizábal
The Zone (2007)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Residents of an enclosed neighborhood in the middle of Mexico DF are shocked by a violent crime, and for one resident in particular, young Alejandro, the drama is ratcheted up when he encounters the lone kid who escaped the event and is hiding out within the neighborhood's borders.

Director: Rodrigo Plá
Stars: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Daniel Tovar, Alan Chávez
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Having reached middle age, a woman must choose between the two men in her life.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gérard Meylan
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

One man, one city, 32 hours.

Director: Alexis Alexiou
Stars: Stelios Mainas, Dimitris Tzoumakis, Adam Bousdoukos
After Lucia (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Alejandra and her dad Roberto have just moved to town. She is new at school, he has a new job. Starting over is sometimes complicated when you have left so much behind.

Director: Michel Franco
Stars: Tessa Ia, Hernán Mendoza, Gonzalo Vega Jr.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In Lille, two penniless young women with few prospects become friends. Isa moves in with Marie, who's flat-sitting for a mother and child in hospital in comas following a car crash. Isa is ... See full summary »

Director: Erick Zonca
Stars: Élodie Bouchez, Natacha Régnier, Grégoire Colin
Todo modo (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Party leader and power broker Aldo Moro, holed up with his cronies and rivals at a monastic retreat where they plot their political fortunes while being led by a Jesuit cleric in spiritual cleansings.

Director: Elio Petri
Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Marcello Mastroianni, Mariangela Melato
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Four generations of a family live crowded together in a cardboard shantytown shack in the squalor of inner-city Rome. They plan to murder each other with poisoned dinners, arson, etc. The ... See full summary »

Director: Ettore Scola
Stars: Nino Manfredi, Maria Luisa Santella, Francesco Anniballi
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A couple of English tourists arrive on an island where all the children have gone crazy and are murdering the adults.

Director: Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
Stars: Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome, Antonio Iranzo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ariane Ascaride ...
Gérard Meylan ...
Jacques Boudet ...
Paul's Father
Christine Brücher ...
Viviane Froment
Jacques Pieiller ...
Yves Froment
Pascale Roberts ...
Paul's Mother
Pierre Banderet ...
Alexandre Ogou ...
Véronique Balme ...
Frédérique Bonnal ...
Mrs. Préférence Nationale
Jacques Germain ...
Mister National Preference
Alain Lenglet ...
Piano mover
Amar Toulé ...
Momo, Abderramane's brother


A dark tale of working-class life in Marseilles, a city in crisis. Interesting characters include a hard-bitten but compassionate fish market worker with a drug addicted daughter and a moody bartender with a shocking secret life. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

17 January 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La ciudad está tranquila  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,142 (USA) (26 October 2001)


$51,987 (USA) (22 February 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


References Nashville (1975) See more »


Composed by George Gershwin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The unbearable brightness of seeing
23 October 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is a production not so much of the French film industry as the Marseille `film co-operative' headed by Robert Guédiguian (`Marius et Jeanette', `A la place du cour'). The same group have been making low-budget films on the theme of working class life for 20 years, and on the evidence of this one they are just getting better. What distinguishes their films is not so much the left –wing viewpoint mixed with obscure French philosophy (sorry M. Foucault) both of which are present, but an interesting combination of super-realist, almost documentary presentation and a decidedly melodramatic storyline.

In this film Ariane Ascaride plays a woman in her late thirties, old before her time, who is the sole support of her family (hubby has been out of work for three years). She toils by night in the fish markets, but this is not enough. Her 16 year old daughter, Fiona (Julie-Marie Parmentier) has already both a baby and a serious heroin addiction. After finding her daughter doing oral sex for money in the living room of their tiny flat, Michèle goes on the game herself, with no great success, although she does enlist the rather dopey Paul (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), a docker turned taxi-diver, as a regular customer. She turns to an old acquaintance, Gérard (Gérard Meylan), to supply her with heroin for Fiona. Meanwhile, Viviane (Christine Brucher), a drama teacher from a more refined neighbourhood, becomes involved with Abderramane, (Alexandre Ogou) a young black ex-con she had met while teaching a group of prisioners. Needless to say, things do not go smoothly. The storylines are topped and tailed by the quest of a Armenian immigrant boy for a decent piano to match his precocious talent.

The film is beautifully crafted; the various stories are brought together in a powerful and shocking conclusion. The scenes between mother and daughter are painful to watch, but justifiably so. Their situation is really not much to do with politics and Foucault, after all drugs plague the middle class as well, but Michèle has only her daughter. Pitched against the personal tragedy there is the plight of the workers as a whole; cast out of employment by mechanisation on the docks they are driven into the arms of the neo-fascists, to whom, of course, they are mere cannon–fodder. But the political viewpoint of the film is suggestive rather than strident, more a background to the personal dramas than the main theme, which what happens to personal relationships when put under unbearable pressure.

Despite the drama and tragedy, there is some subtle humour in the film. Where a flashback sequence is required at one point the director uses a clip from a movie made by him 20 years ago which happens to feature the same actors. There is the bumbling but kind-hearted cabbie, his retired left-wing parents and Michèle's husband to provide some amusement also. The look and feel of Marseille is conveyed beautifully; this reviewer last visited the place 25 years ago and got the distinct feeling that the tatty but colourful town of those days is now distinctly uglier and a great deal more dangerous. Guédiguian, however, has not given up on the place and he and his troupe continue to tell compelling stories of Marseille life.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
SONG IN TRAILER Bllnrboysclubceo
question about ameline... umasbigtoe
Bad copy of DVD mugwug
Satisfying ending ml57
Discuss The Town Is Quiet (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: