Wednesday, November 16th, 2011


There is a wonderful old-fashioned sensibility in this
latest movie from idiosyncratic Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki that portrays an essentially gritty story about a major
casualty of contemporary life as a somewhat sentimental fairy tale. 
Set in the French Port Town it tells of Marcel a
shoeshine man who plies his diminishing trade wherever he can, and on his trek
around town comes across Idrissa a young African refugee boy who is on the run
from the Authorities.  Marcel befriends
the lad and takes him back to the modest home he shares with his wife Arletty
and their dog Laike in a working class neighborhood.  The neighbors may be poor but they share a
real sense of community spirit where they all happily help each other out without a
moment’s hesitation.  When Arletty gets
ill, and when the boy needs hiding, everyone rallies around Marcel and plays
their part.
As Marcel and his neighbors plot an escape plan to
send Idrissa to his mother in England, they are doggedly pursued by a dour
Police Inspector who threatens to be their undoing. 
This is all played out with Kaurismaki’s signature
deadpan style, but this time behind all the usual expressionless faces we find in his films, there is real warmth and a great deal of emotion.  Every element of the visual look has been stylized to reflect that this tale focuses on
old-fashioned ideals, and it is noticeable  devoid of any modern prop (there is only single shot of a cellphone). You could
be forgiven for thinking that the movie had been shot in the same era as the values
it shows.
A great ensemble piece and as I am slowly discovering Mr.
Kaurismaki’s work, I can see that he uses many of the same actors in all his
films.  Including the dog.  They must love working with this extraordinary
and unique talent as I much as I am now appreciating his work.
A great movie that has already snatched an Award at Cannes, and is tipped to be one of the five Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar
this year.


Posted by queerguru  at  17:15


Follow queerguru

Search This Blog

View 5 min movie By: