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ANYTHING FOR HER

Director: FRED CAVAYE

FRANCE • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY STEREO • DIGITAL • 96 MIN


THE LATENT CAPABILITIES OF AN ORDINARY MAN ARE COMPELLINGLY LAID OUT IN THIS TEXTBOOK MODERN THRILLER, HELD TOGETHER BY STELLAR CENTRAL PERFORMANCES FROM VINCENT LINDON AND DIANE KRUGER.

They’re a seemingly ideal couple with a young son, and it only takes a few minutes over breakfast to understand the bond they have. Moments later, their lives are shattered: police break down the door and haul her off on a murder charge. She’s convicted of bashing her boss’ face in with a fire extinguisher. He believes her story of mistaken identity, but the court does not, and soon she’s in jail while he’s left to bring up their boy alone. As middle-class-nightmare scenarios go, it’s a doozy, but it doesn’t end there. On the pretext of putting his book on the school curriculum, teacher Lindon meets up with a crook (grizzly Olivier Marchal) who wrote a bestseller about his seven successful prison escapes. Getting out, he says, is the easy bit — staying free is the challenge.

In the line of great French leading men like Jean Gabin or Jean-Paul Belmondo, Lindon is hardly conventionally handsome, but his hangdog features have a genuine charisma on screen and he knows that in film acting, less is always more. So, in time-honoured caper mode, we see a plan clicking into action, and though writer-director Fred Cavaye proves a dab hand at staging car chases and shootouts, it’s the emotional undertow that’s the real pull here. Lindon knows his wife is innocent and he’ll do anything for her. — Trevor Johnston.

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