Walking in My Father’s Footsteps

Remi Waterhouse is probably best known to cinemagoers as the writer of Ridicule, a sharp satire on society mores in 17th century France, which was directed by Patrice Leconte. Waterhouse has himself assumed directorial responsibilities on Walking in My Father’s Footsteps, a beautifully observed modern tale of a young man’s encounter with his long-lost father. After his mother’s death, 23-year-old Sauveur (Guillaume Canet) discovers that his father is Bertrand (Jan Yanne), a small-time con-man who operates around northern France. Realising that Bertrand is uninterested in any son he may have fathered, Sauveur worms his way into the man’s life as his sidekick and apprentice in a life of crime. The film’s gently comic approach takes in some sharp social observations and subtle character studies. Waterhouse makes excellent use of mundane settings (a succession of budget hotels, anonymous roadside restaurants, modest homes and small businesses) and is fortunate indeed to have the great Jean Yanne playing the seasoned old pro who sees everything in mercenary terms.

France, 1999.
English subtitles.
Dolby stereo SR.
90 min.

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