23 December 2010

Inspector Bellamy

Directed by: Claude Chabrol
Written by: Odile Barski & Claude Chabrol

You could almost call this movie Inspector Nick Charles: though it's peppered with minor profundities, it's an airy trifle—a warmly written and acted jumble of character studies. Claude Chabrol reportedly wrote this engaging, popular-appeal potboiler for star Gerard Depardieu who, now thick with age (and a nose like Karl Malden, mon dieu!!), plays a famous-but-retired police detective pulled into a Chandler-esque mystery, filled in with fleshed-out characters—as per usual with Chabrol, the story is far less important than the people in it. (The story includes a lot of fraternal bickering, sibling rivalry with a no-good brother who, in the film's best joke, arrives in the middle of the night with ominous Tchaikovsky music blaring...from the taxi! "Could you turn that down please?")

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