french films > Louise-Michel




cast: Yolande Moreau, Bouli Lanners, Benoît Poelvoorde

year: 2008

colour: yes


director: Benoît Delépine

runtime: 90

Four years after their outrageous industrial-injury road movie, Aaltra, the absurdist duo of Kervern and Delépine return with a comedy even blacker, sparse and more outrageous. After a children’s clothes factory closes, leaving its female staff jobless, taciturn ex-con worker Louise (Moreau) suggests the workers spend their pooled money on a worthy cause – killing the boss that put them in this mess. She recruits a likely hitman: Michel (Eldorado actor-director Lanners), an inept security specialist who subcontracts the hit to a series of wildly inappropriate stand-in assassins. Louise and Michel eventually head to Jersey to close in on their prey, before each fulfils the destiny of his/her unlikely secret past. Dada-esque sight gags abound, political correctness is comprehensively shredded, and cameo appearances include chanteur and Belgian cinema’s bad boy Benoît Poelvoorde as a demented 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Mathieu Kassovitz as an organic hotelier. The lead characters’ names, incidentally, are a tribute to Louise Michel, nineteenth century French anarchist, though she could have barely envisaged the kind of anarchism proposed here.


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