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With its bouncy soundtrack, deadpan humor and good-natured disposition, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre is an endearing affair.
For Carl Dreyer, to film a miracle took a single shot; for Bruno Dumont, a whole film. In Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki needs four shots to capture his - and what an ordinary event it is!
Mixing together some of helmer Aki Kaurismaki's favorite Gallic and Finnish thesps with a few newbies, Le Havre feels like a welcoming family reunion.
Le Havre is utopian precisely because it shows everything as it is not.
Wall Street Journal
Le Havre stands on its own fragile but considerable merits.
The New York Times
A stylized and sentimental fairy tale about the way the world might be, grounded in a frank recognition of the way it is.
New York Post
Le Havre is warm-hearted and uplifting, without being schmaltzy or preachy. And, with its illegal-alien theme, it's dead-on timely.
The A.V. Club
Kaurismäki has a narrow vision, disarming and sweet, yet utterly predictable, and there's little distinction between the films he's directing today and the films he directed 30 years ago. They have the wrong kind of timelessness.
This is textbook Kaurismäki, neither fresh nor unwelcome.
New York Daily News
No one looks at the world quite like Kaurismäki, and his deadpan sentimentality is worth discovery. This is a good place to start.
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