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 filmnoir grit delivers such relaxant properties you forgive a few foibles.
Cast and crew
Nick Nolte Tchéky Karyo Saïd Taghmaoui Gérard Darmon Emir Kusturica Mark Lavoine Ouassini Embarek Mark Polish Michael Polish Nutsa Kukhianidze Ralph Fiennes