Tavernier's earthy approach to the material is what makes it watchable, because it's virtually impossible to keep all the characters and subplots straight. Urgent camera work, gorgeous period design, terrific acting and very clever direction keep us emotionally involved in the characters' lives. These are people who are trying to nonchalantly act like everything's normal, when nothing is! The story is very complicated, touching on just about every level of collaboration and resistance without being preachy. Tavernier approaches it all with a deft, insinuating, revelatory touch, shifting gears frequently. The extended scenes of Devaivre cycling across the countryside are powerfully moving, especially in contrast to the claustrophobic environment in the studio. Or the more freewheeling chaos of a covert operation. And with bursts of real humour in virtually every scene, we are never allowed to relax into standard WWII movie-watching. Confusing yes, but also bracingly fresh and original.
dir-scr Bertrand Tavernier|
scr Jean Cosmos, Bertrand Tavernier
with Jacques Gamblin, Denis Podalydes, Marie Gillain, Marie Desgranges, Charlotte Kady, Maria Pitarresi, Christian Berkel, Laurent Schilling, Richard Sammel, Olivier Brun, Pierre Lacan, Tim Pigott-Smith
release UK 8.Nov.02
Watching the reels. Devaivre(Gamblin, centre) in the studio screening room...
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