This could be Blier's masterpiece, and/or his most disparaging work. For 25 years, he's been serving up provocative satirical dissections of French social, sexual and cultural mores. Here, again, he goes just too far. The pert Grinberg, the muse of his most recent films, is the tart with a heart: a $1,000-a-day girl, this woman has the gift and the appetite. Meeting homeless tramp Jeannot (Lanvin), she brings him to her apartment for succour and offers herself in a gesture of submission. She takes him as her pimp, shaving, suiting and smartening him, and enjoys the conventional (and conventionally ugly) life of the oldest profession, until 'her man' over-reaches himself, prostituting her neighbour (Bruni-Tedeschi), and the cops send him down. The merciless simplicity of Blier's method breaks the heart. His inscrutable stance and ironic distance from his characters is now so firmly entrenched that he feels free to blend moments of lyricism (a beautiful, dreamy drift of snowflakes worthy of Demy), jaundiced poetry (nodding toward Pialat) and melodrama, without teetering off the razor-edge path between offence and pathos. The Barry White songs and the 'Scope photography further emphasise the feeling of alienation. One senses an almost inhuman objectivity at work, which makes Blier seem more and more a compatriot of that arch misanthrope Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Cast and crew