Jacques is coming home after a long stretch behind bars. The boys are waiting, especially hi longtime friend Francis and new kid on the block Didier. They have a job lined up. but Jacques ... See full summary »
Jacques is coming home after a long stretch behind bars. The boys are waiting, especially hi longtime friend Francis and new kid on the block Didier. They have a job lined up. but Jacques wants out of the life, Francis would rather be on the stage and wannabe mobster Didier has loser written all over him. Looks like someone's heading for a fall. Written by
So, the policier is alive and well and living in Port de Clignacourt. Both the director and his two leading actors have tasty credits in such fare as Choice of Arms, La Balance, and, more mainstream, Les Gout des Autres and Laissez-Passer. Here the emphasis is on friendship and close-knit communities albeit criminal ones. Apart from the location shooting - and not too many tourists are hip to Northern Paris unless via a quick trip to the Sunday morning flea markets - what we savor here are the subtle touches; Jacques Gamblin, for example, as Francis, is still living at home with his mother despite his maturity (Gamblin himself is 46) and he has a somewhat secret life as a student in drama classes. At one point we see him acting a scene from what the French call 'Un Tramway nomme desir' (such is the referential power of Tennessee Williams, especially in France, it is unnecessary to state the name of the play either in French OR English), playing Stanley, and doing so quite well if anybody asks you. Of course the second male lead in 'Streetcar' was Mitch, Harold Mitchell, who also lived with his mother and was a gentle man despite hanging out with Stanley and the other 'tough' poker players. Francis is also 'tough' and has done his time in the joint but also has a feminine side. Both Gamblin and co-star Lanvin turn in top-class performances and there is a great sense of ensemble playing throughout. In sum: a very fair entry in the tradition of Melville and Corneau and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Karmann could eventually corneau the market in polars.
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