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As every year, chief inspector Paul Bellamy spends a few days with his wife Françoise in the family house in Nîmes. Jacques, Paul's stepbrother, turns up unawares, which is bad news since the fellow is an alcoholic good for nothing. Also annoying is this stranger at bay who asks Bellamy for protection. Farewell peaceful holiday! Written by
Pleasant interlude with Chabrol, Depardieu, and Bunel
I suppose when I rate this movie more highly than many other people it's because I haven't had enough exposure to Claude Chabrol. For me this falls under the category "French movie," not "Chabrol movie." So those who are less discriminating may like the movie as much as my wife and I did.
European movies are better than American to the extent that they show ordinary people's lives lived at any ordinary pace. They're worse when they indulge in incomprehensible or surrealistic profundities. "Bellamy" teeters on the edge of the latter now and then, but gives us many pleasures of the first kind. It's a murder mystery, sort of, but more of the "what happened?" than the "who did it?" variety. In addition, it's a view into the life of Inspector Bellamy and the people in his life. His relationship with his wife is simple but enviable (perhaps improbably so). Marie Bunel is perfect as the wife.
The film does have some irritating attempts at profundity, but they are not too distracting. It's more distracting wondering how Gerard Depardieu, the Inspector, can have a brother played by an actor 20 years younger that he supposedly grew up with.
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