Monday, July 17, 2006

Poisson d'avril

1954, France, directed by Gilles Grangier

It’s odd that the disc this film appears on is marketed as part of a collection of films featuring the hugely popular French comic Louis de Funès, since he appears in just two scenes, and his performance, the broadest of caricatures, is hardly his best work. The star of the film is the subtler Bourvil, cast, as so often, in a salt-of-the-earth part; the actors would be reunited a decade later in Le Corniaud and La Grande vadrouille, two of the French box-office’s biggest all-time hits. Although Poisson d'avril is exactly the kind of simple, production-line fare that prompted so much dismissive comment by the nouvelle vague critics and filmmakers (often one and the same) just a few years later, Bourvil’s easygoing charm and the often witty script (with dialogue by the great Michel Audiard, whose phrasing and rhythms cast a long shadow over French popular filmmaking of the 1950’s and 1960’s) ensure that the film remains very watchable. Gilles Grangier, who directed many of Jean Gabin’s later films, gives his actors room to savour the script’s best lines, while there’s a surprising vein of commentary on attitudes to the wartime experience.

No comments:


List of all movies

Most of the images here are either studio publicity stills or screen captures I've made myself; if I've taken your image without giving you credit, please let me know.

About Me

Boston, Massachusetts, United States