Serreau, who made Romuald et Juliette and Trois Hommes et un Couffin, is determined to bring her troubled male protagonist around to a more feminine, even feminist, understanding of the world. Like Romuald, this begins with a harassed but apparently successful businessman losing both job and wife. As one might expect, however, La Crise has a less romantic, more coruscating edge: Romuald had his Juliette after all. But when Victor (Lindon) turns loser, he's stuck with Michou (Timsit), a kind, if slow-witted social outcast. This is a black comedy which takes itself very seriously. There's a pervasive sense of bankruptcy and malaise as Victor rebounds from one rejection to the next. Every couple is breaking up, racism is rife, politicians are hypocrites. The shrill opening is probably intentionally aggravating, but it ebbs into affecting, melancholy moments of transcendence and a more gently droll, if still spiky, sentimental education. There are problems: Michou's 'holy fool' takes some swallowing, and Serreau would do better to refrain from sermonising. Nevertheless, this is urgent, scalding satire, with a terrific performance from Lindon.
Cast and crew