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Michel de Gavre
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"Le Grand Soir" (2012 release from France; 92 min.) brings the story of two brothers who couldn't be more different: Benoit is the self-described "oldest punker in Europe with a dog", living on the streets (literally) with no hope for any future. He has nicknamed himself "Not". Then there is Jean-Pierre, a mattress sales guy who lives by the rules and is on the narrow and straight. As the movie opens, we see the brothers having a "conversation" (both of them talking at the same time) with their dad, who owns and runs a small restaurant called "Potato Palace" ("La Potaterie" in French). It isn't long into the movie that Jean-Pierre, unable to meet his sales quotas, gets laid off, and that's where the problems start. To tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this movie, directed by Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine, is a biting commentary on the suburban culture and society, where you don't or can't fit it if you don't behave a certain way. As Jean-Pierre falls deeper and deeper into the black hole of his existence, the movie becomes a suburban desolation clues, French style of course. The absurdities of certain situations have a definite French flavor to them. Not to mention that the movie features a number of French punk songs. I'm not a fan of punk, but in this context they sounded refreshing (as opposed to bringing the same ol' tired punk classics like Plastic Bertrand's Ca Plane Pour Moi"). Last but certainly not least are the brilliant performances from Benoît Poelvoorde (as Benoit/Not), and even better in my opinion is Albert Dupontel (as Jean-Pierre/Dead).
This movie is MILES away from your standard Hollywood, or even European, fare. Nevertheless, if you are in the mood for a quality foreign movie that is definitely off-center, you cannot go wrong with this. "Le Grand Soir" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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