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In the 1980 French countryside, farmer Jojo and his ill-tempered wife Lulu hate each other, though their respective interests speak against divorce. The only thing that keeps the oppressed Jojo from murder is the threat of the guillotine... Written by
This film was a pleasant surprise from present day French Cinema which seems incapable of making good comedy films such as it made in the sixties and seventies. Apart from one or two exceptions one has to rely on Hollywood to produce films to make us laugh. Anyway this film is quite unusual. The title means quite simply a crime comitted at a farm called "Le Paradis" in a remote region of France near to Lyon during the late seventies. The film was inspired by another film from the forties called "Le Poison" by famous director Sacha Guitry. Whereas that film sought to satirize the French Legal System of the time, Un Crime au Paradis is more of a black farce. A husband is more than henpecked by his wife, he is "mashed up", i.e. she hates him more than you can imagine and will do anything to get at him. All this happens in a peasant environment where people do not divorce and just put up with it however they can. Each one wants the death of the other, and eventually the husband after seeing a lawyer who wins all his cases on TV goes to see the lawyer claiming to have killed his wife and to see what his chances are of getting away with it. On the other hand the wife has gone to purchase some mole-killer to do away with her husband and she fantasises on the massages dealt out to her by a doctor. Anyway one of them is killed and the film is about the ensuing trial. The actors Jacques VILLERET, Josiane BALASKO, ANdré Dussolier are all good and well known actors from today and give splendid performances. We also se comedian Roland MAGDANE with a small part as a café owner and Valérie MAIRESSE as his wife. Lastly we have dear Suzanne FLON as the retired schoolmistress with hear beautiful mellow voice who gives kindly advice to the husband. The best performer is Balasko as the nagging wife..........she is just AWFUL !!!!! You just want to take her by the throat and strangle her !!! I am not sure whether the film is known outside France, but if it is shown elsewhere it is sure to have success, not because it is a great work of art but because it is above all entertaining and shows life in "La France Profonde" (Deepest France ). It has probably been under-estimated by the French Public and may have more success outside France than inside. The humour is slightly black but should appeal to Anglo-saxon audiences more than to Latin ones. Anyway get to see it if you can. You certainly won't be bored !
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