Benoit (Xavier Beauvois) has planned out his life. Unfortunately he has forgotten the military duty. After he is called to duty he tries everything to get around. He goes to a psychiatrist ... See full summary »
The story of a dysfunctional family in Northern France. Dad is a mean abusive drunk pharmacist, mom is addicted to pills and has incestuous desire for her son, the son is skipping school to fish and daughter is mentally handicapped.
Matthieu and Eric are two brothers who work at the same factory as their father in Normandy. When his father is dismissed for smoking on the factory floor, Matthieu is incensed and tries to have him reinstated, in vain. His brother has just got married and, with a child and mortgage on the way, is reluctant to stir up trouble. Likewise, Matthieu's fellow workers refuse to get involved. Then ... See full summary »
Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.
Lucas and his team are after a gang of Serbian criminals using NATO-issued weapons. As the investigation leads him to Paris, Lucas attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter, a young narc officer.
When political thugs murder an opponent's volunteer and also kill a cop, chief inspector Verjeat believes the politician who hired them is as guilty as the murderous goon. Verjeat's pursuit... See full summary »
Twenty year old Antoine has made enemies of a gang of young thugs, to whom he owes money. Fed up with his scams and petty crimes, his mother and older brother decide to send Antoine to his ... See full summary »
Yolin François Gauvin,
When a fresh young police academy graduate from provincial Le Havre volunteers for the high pressure world of the Parisian homicide squad, his schoolteacher wife is reluctant to go with him. He moves into a rooming house that caters to single cops as he embraces his fellow officers as an extended family. He becomes close to an Arab officer and his boss, a very professional but lonely, middle-aged female detective who is also a recovering alcoholic. Routine police procedure gives way to an intensive search among the city's homeless for an undocumented Russian immigrant who may be responsible for a series of violent crimes.Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reflected in window as Vaudieu and Solo exit the church. See more »
Mireille, la logeuse:
[after Antoine introduces himself as Lieutenant Derouère]
These days, it's "Lieutenant" and "Captain." It's too much like the Army. Not that I don't like the Army, but "Monsieur l'Inspecteur"... It makes me think of Maigret...
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Competent French crime story, but Nathalie Baye is not Helen Mirren
A rookie detective discovers a world of woe chasing seriously dangerous immigrant Russian thugs in Paris and Nice in this competent French crime drama. His boss is a veteran female police commander making a comeback of sorts after alcoholism had blown her off course for a while. For her performance here as Commandant Caroline "Caro" Vaudieu, Nathalie Baye won her second César Award as Best Actress of 2006 (her first was in 1983 for "La Balance"); at 58, she is a veteran of roles in more than 75 films, and her turn here is very good, if not entirely convincing.
By pure coincidence, later, on the same day I saw this film, I watched the last episode of "The Final Act" on PBS's Masterpiece Theater. This presentation, purportedly the last production in the "Prime Suspect" series, starring Helen Mirren as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison of New Scotland Yard, offers useful comparisons with the French film. "Prime Suspect," of course, set the gold standard for contemporary narrative crime films and has had a splendid 14 year run from 1992 to this past weekend.
The parallels between the protagonists in "Petit Lieutenant" and "Final Act" are extraordinary. Both chief detectives are older women who have suffered through grief, loss and the ravages of the bottle. Both have obvious streaks of vulnerability. And both have something important left to prove: each needs to redeem herself in police work after previous humiliating periods of compromised functioning.
What stands out most in the comparisons is that Mirren's DCI Tennison is tougher than she is vulnerable. She sustains the respect of the men on the force because she can be as brassy and authoritarian as the best of them. And they respect this, never questioning her orders. Miss Baye's Commandant Vaudieu, on the other hand, has a more impassive, retiring personality. And thus her character is less believable than Mirren's, less likely to have risen in the ranks to the very top of a demanding and decidedly tough, not to mention misogynistic, profession. Several actors on Vaudieu's police team are splendid, including Jalil Lespert (the rookie cop, Antoine), Roschdy Zem (Solo) and Antoine Chappey (Louis). (In French, Russian & Polish) My grades: 8/10, B+ (Seen on 11/25/06)
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