The Good Thief

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If Nolte's whole person looked any more lived in, you'd fear for his health, but he certainly carries the part of Bob Montagnet, American gambler and hellraiser, long resident on the Côte d'Azur, and slowly running out of luck, money and his next fix. In fact, he carries the whole picture, his lined features, high tar vocal delivery, and air of gentlemanly savoir faire in low rent circumstances are so utterly on the money, you simply can't imagine Jordan's loosely affectionate remake of Melville's 1955 crime classic Bob le Flambeur any other way. Jordan retains the outline of the original's casino heist plot, which presents the raddled protagonist with one last chance at a big score, but moves the action to contemporary Nice and Monte Carlo, where the drugs trade and illegal immigration have tarnished the lustre of old world glamour and the ghosts of Picasso and Matisse. Chris Menges' sleazy-beautiful camerawork captures the milieu perfectly, as character details take precedence over narrative logistics. While Jordan's repeated freeze-frames try a little too hard for nonchalance, the overall cocktail of Gallic insouciance and American film noir grit delivers such relaxant properties you forgive a few foibles.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Neil Jordan
Screenwriter: Neil Jordan
Cast: Nick Nolte
Tchéky Karyo
Saïd Taghmaoui
Gérard Darmon
Emir Kusturica
Mark Lavoine
Ouassini Embarek
Mark Polish
Michael Polish
Nutsa Kukhianidze
Ralph Fiennes
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