A hardboiled genre film with queasy subject matter. Paris cop Xavier Lombard (Auteuil) has turned his back on the past and is now a private eye living in a crumbling Soho flat. Bumping into an old friend, Carlos (Hinds), Lombard agrees to track down his errant brother-in-law, Spitz, for a hefty fee, but when he turns up a videotape of child abuse at the missing man's flat, he decides to keep his cards close to his chest. There's something about Carlos's wife Deborah (Kinski) which he can't bring himself to trust. The locale and personalities notwithstanding, this is firmly in the classic gumshoe tradition, down to Lombard's friendship with loyal callgirl Nathalie (Denicourt). Auteuil gives a nuanced account of the down-at-heel operator, his stubborn integrity in the Marlowe mould. Director Menges has made two sensitive films about children (A World Apart and Second Best), and his treatment of the paedophilia theme here is discreet, but without soft-pedalling the rage and disgust it arouses.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Eric Leclere, Margaret Leclere, Mark Mills|