The Big Picture

  • Film
  • Drama
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Romain Duris in The Big Picture
The always watchable Romain Duris holds together this wonky but not unappealing combo of liberating fantasy, cautionary tale and suspense thriller. Duris always looks like Monsieur Scruff in a suit, so he’s spot-on casting as a successful Parisian lawyer who’s got the trophy wife, the beautiful house, the cute kids… but still isn’t fulfilled. Better not to know any more than that going in – suffice to say that the course of his life is turned by one moment of emotional volatility, opening up a new avenue of exotic adventure and the creative expression he’s always craved. Except that it may not be quite so easy to become the man he’s always wanted to be.

It plays a bit like Antonioni’s ‘The Passenger’ as remade by Claude Lelouch, where a modicum of chin-scratching about identity and happiness are dressed up in a decorative if at times flagrantly unlikely storyline. Director Eric Lartigau is sensitive to the story’s ever-changing milieux, which helps ground things a bit, and he knows the value of good casting – hence Catherine Deneuve rather generously pops up as Duris’s insightful law-office superior, and resplendently gnarled Niels Arestrup (his old dad in ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’) provides a best-undisclosed cameo towards the sharp end of the tale.

Adapted from the 1997 novel by Douglas Kennedy, an American who’s become a bestseller in France, it’s the arthouse-movie equivalent of a good beach read: eminently diverting but perhaps not destined to leave a lasting impression.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday July 22 2011
Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Eric Lartigau
Cast: Romain Duris
Marina Fois
Niels Arestrup

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|4
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stevhors

A well paced film with a strong and mostly credible storyline which just about justifies its nearly 2 hour run time (not 1 hour 35 min as in our cinema programme). I actually agree with all of the Time Out review which is a first for me. Well worth watching

stevhors

A well paced film with a strong and mostly credible storyline which just about justifies its nearly 2 hour run time (not 1 hour 35 min as in our cinema programme). I actually agree with all of the Time Out review which is a first for me. Well worth watching

david glowacki

Bradshaw has at last got it right...It's a pacey story with lots of atmosphere and intensity..The story unfolds in a very credible manner and is also quite moving,with wonderful one liners from the child actor. As the story progresses it moves from credible to unlikely to downright absurd,without losing the atmosphere and intensity.The acting from the lead is rather good,but the wife is not up to his standard. However by the end (which is 20 mins too long) l felt l had been to seen a daft film which might fool the masses..The whole film is just to ridiculous

david glowacki

Bradshaw has at last got it right...It's a pacey story with lots of atmosphere and intensity..The story unfolds in a very credible manner and is also quite moving,with wonderful one liners from the child actor. As the story progresses it moves from credible to unlikely to downright absurd,without losing the atmosphere and intensity.The acting from the lead is rather good,but the wife is not up to his standard. However by the end (which is 20 mins too long) l felt l had been to seen a daft film which might fool the masses..The whole film is just to ridiculous