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Escort, The

Mauvaise Passe

Michel Blanc is best known here as an actor (Monsieur Hire,Tenue de soiree), but The Escort is his second film as director, after Grosse fatigue (Dead Tired), a very French satire on fame. The Escort is a far more personal film for Blanc and one that engages his interest in English culture and cinema. Blanc started out working on a script with Hanif Kureishi, who provided the basic plot for The Escort but abandoned the project at an early stage to pursue other writing commitments. Blanc continued on his own, fleshing out the original idea of a middle-aged man who is going through a mid-life crisis and ends up working as a male escort. In the film, the central character is Pierre (Daniel Auteuil), a Frenchman adrift in London after separating from his wife and intending to write a novel. A stranger at large in a strange land, Pierre is a man who is trying to find himself and ends up drifting into a dark world where sex is the only means of communication. Blanc is clearly fascinated by his hero’s predicament and is also keen to learn from the school of British realist cinema. The results make for a fascinating hybrid of British and French traditions.

France/U.K., 1999.
English and French dialogue.
Colour.
Dolby digital stereo.
100 min.

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