The versatile writer-director of ‘Trilogy’ offers a less cerebral take on the crime thriller with this winning ‘socially aware’ caper comedy. As a son of Belgian industrial town Namur, Lucas Belvaux brings obvious autobiographically based affinities to his pointedly unfashionable setting, de-skilled, de-steeled Liège, but manages nevertheless to steer a safe line between affection and affectation as he follows the organisation and execution of an ill-advised robbery by a group of bar-room pals. Although structurally conventional – who decommissioned experimental populism? – the film is aurally and visually more audacious, incorporating great camerawork and an interesting score by Riccardo Del Fra. It’s strongest suit, however, is performance: a cast boasting varying levels of previous professional experience – from comedian and activist Claude Semal (as resigned boozer Robert) to Patrick Descamps (his grouchy pal Jean-Pierre) – give a nicely tempered portrait of male community, hard-pressed but with distinct traces of iron in its soul.
You may also like