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The Night Clerk (2011)
"Avant l'aube" (original title)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  2 March 2011 (France)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 416 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 8 critic

Frederic is a young man in social rehabilitation. He has just found a night internship, in an isolated hotel in the mountains when, one evening, he sees his boss, Jacques, together with ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Couvreur
Frédéric Boissier
Ludmila Mikaël ...
Michèle Couvreur
L'inspectrice de police Sylvie Poncet
Julie Couvreur
François Perrot ...
Paul Couvreur
Xavier Robic ...
Arnaud Couvreur
India Hair ...
Pierre-Félix Gravière ...
Marc Brunet ...
Le capitaine de gendarmerie Barthod
Nicolas Jouhet ...
Raphaël Cassany
Philippe Vendan-Borin ...
L'assistant de Sylvie
Priscilla Attal-Sfez ...
Sandrine (as Priscilla Attal)
Patrick Hastert ...


Frederic is a young man in social rehabilitation. He has just found a night internship, in an isolated hotel in the mountains when, one evening, he sees his boss, Jacques, together with this son, hiding a car in the parking lot. The day after, he learns that one of the clients left the hotel without notice... Written by Amélie Vrla

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

2 March 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Avant l'aube  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


French visa # 119343 See more »

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User Reviews

Great policier with sociological undertones !
19 February 2012 | by (Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

Some films stand or fall because of one actor, not only because most of the screen time he's there, but because the action pivots on him. This is the case of Vincent Rottiers, whose "Frédéric Boissier" will stay in my memory for a long time.

Well known actors J. P. Bacri, beautiful L. Mikaël and F. Perrot on the surface are the perfect family, owners of a hotel in the chic Pyrinees, serving the wealthy and powerful. But from the first scenes we know something is rotten, and Bacri knows Fréderic has seen to much. As this boy with a troubled past has no family and a simple girlfriend, Machiavellian Bacri buys our friend F. with trifles. A coat from his own son (who subsequently hates him), some awful stiff dinners with his stressed family, staying at the worst employee's room for a few days. And affection, plus a father figure, which F. never had and needs so badly.

Bacri is of course perfect as a likable guy who even while blatantly lying, you wind up still believing him. We've all been used by people like "Jacques".

Nice well shot scenery (even if you don't like the snow & mountains), well used (sparsely) classical music, and a glimpse into a world most of us won't ever know (pricey winter resorts) seen from the owner and the worker's perspective, to boot.

I didn't like the female inspector's character, played by Sylvie Testud ("Ce que mes yeux ont vu" among others) who this time, strangely enough, is not believable at all, I am sure, because of a "thin" character, always clumsy, asking some questions but ultimately not delivering much.

"Jacky", Fréderic's coworker, is also a hidden gem of a character. If you've been envied by somebody without knowing why, you know Jacky.

Sadly beautiful Céline Sallette (Le grand alibi) is also moving in this film, albeit in a small role.

It'll keep you gripping at your seat until the end, and then some. Can't say the same of most blockbusters you'll ever see :)!

PS: There are some loose threads, about a car's light that F. finds, for instance, and doesn't put to good use. Just a passing thought.

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

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