Le Havre

November 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment
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DVD.  An award-winning French film by a Finnish director, “Le Havre” is modest in scope and only modestly satisfying.  Marcel shines shoes in the French port city of Le Havre, where he lives with his wife in a small flat surrounded by other, good-hearted people trying to make ends meet.  Idrissa is a young boy who was smuggled out of Africa to meet up with his parents in London but has been accidentally dumped in here.  They meet.  Gruff Marcel grows fond of the guarded boy and hides him, with the help of the neighborhood, from an Inspector Javert type policeman determined to deport the boy.  With a love of Godard and a sentimental eye toward French coastal villages, and Le Havre  is beautiful, this comedy moves along gently enough, never offending but never making me laugh, either.  It is sweet and heart-warming and all sorts of feel-goody but has not an inch of depth.  The flatter-than-deadpan acting (especially from the boy) makes it hard to feel any connection to any of these lovely people.  That, paired with the obvious lack of any real peril, left me bored most of the time.  I didn’t mind this movie but, in the end, that’s really all I felt.

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