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  • dbdumonteil1 February 2004
    Warning: Spoilers
    Jacques Deray and Alain Delon made a lot of movies together,most of them enjoyed huge commercial success ("la piscine" "borsalino").Their two final efforts (Deray passed away some years back)were failures and it's perhaps too bad because they show more ambition and more originality than the previous works."Un crime" (1993) is by far the best of the two.Delon seemed strained,almost jaded ,no longer the winner he used to be formerly.

    "L'ours en peluche" is less satisfying,because the supporting cast is nonexistent ;only one great actress ,Madeleine Robinson,is featured,but her part does not exceed two minutes.Adapted from Simenon ,it repeats the subject which Gilles Grangier treated in the fifties ("le sang à la tête",circa 1956 ,also a Simenon novel,with Jean Gabin;strange how Delon's last roles resemble Gabin's last ones):the man who made his way of life ,the wealthy gynecologist ,who ,one day receives death threats.Then he takes a good look at his life and begins to realize that his life was such a selfish one.

    SPOILER:the ending may infuriate the audience but it is a faux happy end:too many people -the bistro's owner for instance- know the truth and the hero won't escape his fate ,even if it's a self-defense case.

    Deray's last two movies show an unexpected side of this director :the mysterious house where a young man hides skeletons in his closet in "un crime",the sad suburban landscapes in the north of France .After this double failure,he gave up cinema and worked for TV during his last years.
  • Alain Delon is the rich, respected professor/obstetrician (I had to look that up!) who appears to have everything (wife, daughter, professional success AND a mistress), but whose life begins to fall apart when he receives an anonymous phone call by a man who says he is "guilty" and threatens to kill him. Following the "clues" that the caller leaves for him, Delon tries to find out what he is accused of.

    Actually, "Teddy Bear" is not as interesting as that description makes it sound. The mystery is revealed halfway through, and there isn't much suspense, either. In many scenes, the rich music score provides the only drama. Delon fans will be interested in seeing their idol in this more mature phase of his career, but Deray's clinical, dehydrated directorial style doesn't do much to get us involved. And of course, this being a French movie, it's talky (though Delon remains relatively silent and lets the others do most of the talking).

    On the other hand, this being a French movie, it dares to end in an amoral, un-Hollywood-ish way. I didn't see the ending coming, and you probably won't, either. It's good enough to push the rating of this movie from ** to **1/2 out of 4.