16 May 2005 | guy-bellinger
Agatha made in France
This is - for all I know - only the second French adaptation of an Agatha Christie crime story in France. The last time was ... in 1932 ( "Le Coffret de Laque, directed by Jean Kemm)! But this new French effort was worth the waiting. Indeed, Lady Agatha's whodunit has been gallicised and updated so deftly that the viewer never suspects all the adaptation work behind the slick storytelling. When I say gallicised understand a stylized France. And when I say updated I mean a rather iconoclastic present.
All you can expect from an Agatha Christie novel you will find here : thrills, plot twists, mysterious clues, a surprising final resolution. But, thanks to Pascal Thomas' talent you will be given even more : social comment ( old age, family ties, the 2003 heat wave ), black humor (jokes about death, madness, etc.), brilliant dialog, plus a wonderful cast of either well-known character actors typed against cast (Geneviève Bujold, Valérie Kaprisky, Maurice Risch, Laurent Terzieff), of talented beginners(Pierre Lescure) or little known but excellent actors(André Thorent, Anne Le Ny). To say nothing of the sizzling leading couple of the always perfect Catherine Frot and André Dussollier.
However what is most enjoyable is the offbeat tone that imbues the whole film. The atmosphere, although apparently realistic, constantly borders on the fantastic.A farcical type of fantastic, as if "Mon petit Doigt m'a dit" had been made by a Claude Chabrol born in Belgium !