Roman De Gare

  • Year:2008
  • Rating:M
  • Cast:Fanny Ardant, Michele Bernier, Myriam Boyer, Audrey Dana, Dominique Pinon
  • Release Date:November 06, 2008
  • Distributor:Arkles
  • Running time:100 minutes
  • Film Worth:$15.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

“…unmissable.”

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This top-notch suspense thriller from veteran French writer/director Claude Lelouch (A Man And A Woman) is so good that it's probably impossible to review without a surfeit of superlatives, so we shan't try. It's surprising, enthralling, intriguing, blackly droll, and a rattling good yarn. It's self-referential in a contemporary way, yet narrative-driven in a traditional one.

Roman De Gare hits the ground running by introducing a bunch of characters whose connections are ambiguous. There's a very successful novelist called Judith Ralitzer (Fanny Ardant), who's gleefully mauled by a TV interviewer who loathed her last book. There's a young engaged couple on their way to meet the girl's family - yet they argue so intensely that the guy (Cyrille Eldin) strands the girl, Huguette (Audrey Dana), in the middle of nowhere.

All these characters are interesting, and well acted, but the film belongs to the character of Pierre Laclos, and his extraordinary portrayal by Dominique Pinon (Amelie). Laclos - if that is indeed his real name - may be the ghost writer behind Ralitzer's success...or perhaps someone who just knows her vaguely...or perhaps an escaped paedophile rapist who beguiles strangers, including his intended victims, by showing them magic tricks. You simply can't look away when Pinon's on screen. He's scary but charming, with the kind of unconventional good looks that the French call "jolie/laid" (pretty/ugly), and he puts one irresistibly in mind of that impossible contradiction: an overgrown dwarf.  He suggests all manner of feelings and possible motivations - while appearing to be concealing even more - with the most subtle of facial gestures. If we told you any more, it would spoil the suspense. Suffice to say, Roman De Gare is unmissable.

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