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: French Neo-Noir: The Connection (2014)  ( 258 )
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« : June 26, 2017, 08:31:33 AM »

Watched on Netflix.

"A business that turns snow into gold."

** This review may contain spoilers ***

Finishing the last ep of the very good Sci-Fi Noir series Fortitude,I got set to catch up on movie viewings. Taking a look at titles about to leave Netflix UK,I was surprised to see a "serious" movie starring The Artist actor Jean Dujardin,which led to me making the connection.

The plot-

1970s Marseille:

Calling themselves "La French" the gang led by Gaètan Tany Zampa becomes a major exporter of heroin into New York,which leads to US police going after the French Connection. Transferred to an organised crime unit, Former Juvenile Court judge Pierre Michel finds the gang to be running rings round the department. Getting info of the gang from a teen addict,Michel sets his sights on cutting the "octopus' arms" of Zampa,and discovers that this octopus will not lets its connections be cut easily,when the informant teen is found murdered.

View on the film:

Following the other side of the investigation not shown in The French Connection,co-writer/(with Audrey Diwan) director Cédric Jimenez & cinematographer Laurent Tangy get into the spirit of things with the Gaumont 70's logo being used,and followed with sharp-suits,smoke- filled police stations, changing surveillance tech,neon disco lights and short,blunt shots of violence. Untangling each La French octopus arm, Jimenez stylishly uses hand-held (but not shaky cam) camera moves to give the title a gritty,Noir documentary appearance,as Jimenez keeps up with the cops finding hideouts in the rugged countryside.

Pushing his fellow cops to get results,the screenplay by Jimenez and Diwan tensely place all the pressure on Noir rebel Michel,which sets the fuse for abrupt exchanges with Michel and his family,as he becomes consumed with breaking the French Connection. Initially outsmarting the police at every turn,the writers give Zampa a delicious smugness,which melts away as Zampa's ice cool confidence turns to doubt. "Ripped from the headlines" the writers give the across the years' war between Michel and Zampa a superb urgency,where each setback sends the other one off the rails.

Not being in the mood to take Uggie (RIP) for walkies, Jean Dujardin gives a fantastic performance as Michel,whose Noir obsession to capture Zampa crackles with a simmering thirst for justice from Dujardin. Dancing without a care in the world in his discos, Gilles Lellouche gives an excellent performance as Zampa,whose calm shell Lellouche chips away to reveal a sharp viciousness,as the connection is made.

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