19 February 2012 | stuka24
Great policier with sociological undertones !
Some films stand or fall because of one actor, not only because most of the screen time he's there, but because the action pivots on him. This is the case of Vincent Rottiers, whose "Frédéric Boissier" will stay in my memory for a long time.
Well known actors J. P. Bacri, beautiful L. Mikaël and F. Perrot on the surface are the perfect family, owners of a hotel in the chic Pyrinees, serving the wealthy and powerful. But from the first scenes we know something is rotten, and Bacri knows Fréderic has seen to much. As this boy with a troubled past has no family and a simple girlfriend, Machiavellian Bacri buys our friend F. with trifles. A coat from his own son (who subsequently hates him), some awful stiff dinners with his stressed family, staying at the worst employee's room for a few days. And affection, plus a father figure, which F. never had and needs so badly.
Bacri is of course perfect as a likable guy who even while blatantly lying, you wind up still believing him. We've all been used by people like "Jacques".
Nice well shot scenery (even if you don't like the snow & mountains), well used (sparsely) classical music, and a glimpse into a world most of us won't ever know (pricey winter resorts) seen from the owner and the worker's perspective, to boot.
I didn't like the female inspector's character, played by Sylvie Testud ("Ce que mes yeux ont vu" among others) who this time, strangely enough, is not believable at all, I am sure, because of a "thin" character, always clumsy, asking some questions but ultimately not delivering much.
"Jacky", Fréderic's coworker, is also a hidden gem of a character. If you've been envied by somebody without knowing why, you know Jacky.
Sadly beautiful Céline Sallette (Le grand alibi) is also moving in this film, albeit in a small role.
It'll keep you gripping at your seat until the end, and then some. Can't say the same of most blockbusters you'll ever see :)!
PS: There are some loose threads, about a car's light that F. finds, for instance, and doesn't put to good use. Just a passing thought.