7.4/10
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Beau travail (1999)

Unrated | | Drama, War | 3 May 2000 (France)
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1:31 | Trailer

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This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa.

Director:

Claire Denis
6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Lavant ... Galoup
Michel Subor ... Commander Bruno Forestier
Grégoire Colin ... Gilles Sentain
Richard Courcet Richard Courcet ... Legionnaire
Nicolas Duvauchelle ... Legionnaire
Adiatou Massudi Adiatou Massudi ... Legionnaire
Mickael Ravovski Mickael Ravovski ... Legionnaire
Dan Herzberg Dan Herzberg ... Legionnaire
Giuseppe Molino Giuseppe Molino ... Legionnaire
Gianfranco Poddighe Gianfranco Poddighe ... Legionnaire
Marc Veh Marc Veh ... Legionnaire
Thong Duy Nguyen Thong Duy Nguyen ... Legionnaire
Jean-Yves Vivet Jean-Yves Vivet ... Legionnaire
Bernardo Montet Bernardo Montet ... Legionnaire
Dimitri Tsiapkinis Dimitri Tsiapkinis ... Legionnaire
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Storyline

This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup's mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Italian | Russian

Release Date:

3 May 2000 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dobar posao See more »

Filming Locations:

Obock, Djibouti See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,003, 2 April 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$247,606, 19 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the film that inspired Greta Gerwig to be a director. See more »

Quotes

Galoup: [subtitled version] Maybe freedom begins with remorse. Maybe freedom begins with remorse. I heard that somewhere.
See more »

Connections

Version of Billy Budd (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

The Rhythm of the Night
Performed by Corona
Warner Chappel Music Ltd. / Extravaganza Pub / Intersong Music Ltd.
With license from Wom Records.
See more »

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User Reviews

Desert Budd that never blooms
20 July 2000 | by Stephen GroenewegenSee all my reviews

Beau Travail ("Good Work") is loosely based on Herman Melville's classic novella Billy Budd. Billy Budd was a tragedy brought about partly by the strictures of military discipline, but was really a story of masculinity and power; a powerful psychological study of three characters and personalities unable to coexist without damaging or destroying each other.

French director Claire Denis transfers the story from the eighteenth century British navy to a unit of the French Foreign Legion in an African outpost. The exotic backdrop of the Foreign legion - with its all-male bonding and strict discipline - is inspired. Having the film narrated by Galoup, the film's Claggart character, is not. Claggart was fascinating to Melville because he could discern no real reason for his hatred of Budd; it was ascribed to his nature and essentially unfathomable. Denis and the actor playing Galoup (Denis Lavant) seem to lack insight into his motives as well, so he's a poor choice to carry the story. Equally frustrating is Denis' lack of focus on Sentain (Gregoire Colin), the charismatic Budd who's supposed to drive the action. Instead, there's a lot of empty posing in the desert. The climax - the first real incident in an overlong film - is over too quickly to be satisfying.


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