Inspecteur Lavardin

Shortly after investigating the banning of a play entitled Our Father Which Farts in Heaven, a high-minded paterfamilias is found dead on the beach, PIG scrawled insultingly on his naked backside. With the widow offering a regal display of indifference, a teenage step-daughter skulking furtively in drug-pushing circles, and a gay uncle gloating madly over his collection of glass eyes, this is Chabrol at odds with the bourgeoisie again. But there is a difference as Jean Poiret’s police inspector arrives for his second murder investigation following Cop au Vin [Poulet au vinaigre, 1985], this time trailing memories of his former love for the widow, a fallen angel who has innocently sinned in her emotional affairs. Discovering what amounts to a paradise lost, Lavardin elects to play God in order to rout the otherwise unassailable forces of evil. Strangely tender, bizarrely funny, with gorgeous performances from Bernadette Lafont (the widow) and Jean-Claude Brialy (the uncle), this is Chabrol back to the mood of eccentric metaphysical mystery he mined in the marvellous Ten Days Wonder [La Decade prodigieuse, 1971].

France, 1986.
English subtitles.
100 min.

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