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Welcome to the Rozes

Director: Françis Palluau

FRANCE| 2003. ENGLISH SUBTITLES. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 88 MINUTES.


The twists are plentiful and the humour jet black in Welcome to the Rozes, a delectably sardonic first film by writer-director Françis Palluau. Two young, soft-boiled escaped convicts take a breather in an ultra-bourgeois home, prompting unpredictable consequences. Gilbert (Lorant Deutsch) and MG (Jean Dujardin) take refuge in the suburban home of wine merchant Daniel Roze (Andre Wilms) and his wife Beatrice (Carol Bouquet). However, the hostages are suspiciously happy to comply, even offering their captors tips. It’s as if, instead of being frightened, Grandma couldn’t wait for the Big Bad Wolf to infiltrate her cottage. MG just wants to hide out long enough to collect his share of a heist nine years prior. But bodies start to pile up.
Bouquet’s patrician beauty is ideal for her turn as an apparently model wife and mother. The other performers inhabit their roles convincingly, with Clemence Posey, as the couple’s 18-year-old daughter, pulling off a memorable topless scene with panache. Romain Winding’s cinematography, which keeps things moving at a suitable clip, subtly demarcates the way things look to the criminals vs. the visual universe of the Rozes. The device of four humming, middle-aged hikers popping up like a stylised Greek chorus isn’t completely successful but doesn’t detract from the solidly scripted, offbeat romp.

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