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Thursday, June 5, 2008


Writer/director Barbet Schroeder is maddeningly inconsistent. Here, Jacques Dutronc is a gambling addict who needs to control his mania long enough to pull off a can’t-miss scam. But, typically, Schroeder won’t establish just what attracts the main players to each other. As if he hasn't the time or interest in setting up character motivation so we not only don't understand why someone is doing something, which is okay, but we also don't care about the outcome, which isn't okay. Also, the best gambling pics (like BOB LE FLAMBEUR) use gambling as counterpoint; the dirty secret being just how boring addictions are to folks not so inclined. Ever spend an evening with a drunk or a NASCAR buff? Dutronc, so good in PLACE VENDOME (see above), is superb here, a smoothy going to seed, & Leandro Vale does well as his apoplectic partner. But the film is ultimately inconsequential.

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