15 August 2006 | dbdumonteil
Gabin's best in the seventies
In France,in the first half of the seventies,the rural thriller was trendy ,hip.There was " La Veuve Couderc" "La Horse" (featuring Gabin,which ,though it is pure fiction,looks like "l'Affaire Dominici") "Les Granges Brûlées" ...Their granddaddy was Becker's unsurpassed classic "Goupi Mains Rouges" (1943) which already depicted the clannishness of some people of the rural society.
"L'Affaire Dominici" is a different matter ,for it is based on true facts.Three English tourists (a lord's family) are murdered on a country road .The suspects are the Dominici family ,whose farm was near the tragedy,and whose patriarch (Gabin) shows himself inflexible.
The Dominici family seems to come from another world,from another time.They always contradict themselves (the audience does not know if they protect themselves or if they wash their dirty linen in public).Gabin gives an impressive disturbing performance ,but Victor Lanoux is equally good as his son.There's also a young Gerard Depardieu as a half-wit nephew who's got three or four lines to say.
The Dominici affair remains a mystery.But there are other strange things that do not even concern them: why for instance,do those wealthy tourists have to sleep by the roadside?
Directing is average made-for-TV quality but the whole cast makes the movie a minor winner.