An inspector who just suffered a family tragedy is looking for a missing older man. Man's family is of no help, or are they hiding something? He is helped by a ghost of an actress who died 30 years ago, or is he slowly going insane?
Jacques is a disheveled police lieutenant in Normandy. An enigmatic woman sends him to a hotel where the owner's been reported missing. Jacques' presence unnerves the wife and son of the missing man as well as the police assigned to investigate. Is the woman a figment of his mind? He sees her at a distance from time to time; she's a ringer for an actress who died in a road accident 36 years before and was the mistress of the missing man. Jacques follows his hunches and visions as his colleagues become impatient with is actions. We also learn bits about a tragedy in his recent past. Is he ill or the only one with a clue about what's going on? Written by
La Disparue de Deauville is an enjoyable film that needn't be over analyzed. Admittedly, it contains a number of familiar mystery and thriller elements, but manages to play them off rather nicely. Sophie Marceau and Christopher Lambert perform well with distinctive character portrayals. I felt it was nicely directed, as well. Never is the direction of the film a source of discomfort, save possibly for some camera techniques used for dramatic effect. And only then, if the viewer is seeking to find fault.
Of particular interest for fans of Sophie Marceau is that this film sparked a notion that a true film noir portrayal of the classic femme fatale would not go amiss on her filmography. Though she doesn't play a '40s actress, her role hearkens back to an earlier era in film-making. Certainly, she has played that strong, dangerous female character contemporaneously, but a 1940's style rendition in the Lauren Bacall mode could be quite interesting. A suitable french Bogart would be required, though.
Enjoy the film on its own merits, and don't worry about if it's too French, or not French enough, too complicated or too silly. It's entertaining.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?