7.4/10
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69 user 65 critic

Beau travail (1999)

Unrated | | Drama, War | 3 May 2000 (France)
This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa.

Director:

Claire Denis

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at Amazon

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:

Bella tarea See more »

Filming Locations:

Djibouti

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Commander Bruno Forestier: [subtitled version]
[in Russian]
Commander Bruno Forestier: Why did you join the Legion?
Legionnaire: [in Russian] Commandant, you know what it's like in Russia. No money, no work. I was in the army there for two years. I fought for Russia. But it's impossible to fight just for an ideal. An ideal that just keeps changing. You know what I mean?
Commander Bruno Forestier: [in Russian] What ideal?
See more »

Connections

Version of Billy Budd (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Simarik
Written by Sezen Aksu (uncredited)
Performed by Tarkan
Universal Music France
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterful, beautifully shot elegy for the warrior ethos
21 February 2001 | by gansSee all my reviews

_Beau travail_ gives proof that French cinema can still produce masterpieces. This adaptation of Melville focuses on Vere rather than Billy and on a ritualistic masculine life that has lost its function and degenerated into sterile rivalry. It shows the subtle triumph of the female principle in this harsh environment without ever striking a discordant ideological note. The cinematography displaying the men against the desert is breathtaking, and the rhythm of the narrative sequences builds tension with a brilliant economy of means. Even the French is beautifully written. The best French film I've seen in years (and I've seen quite a few).


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