Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Alternate title: The Hour Of The Pig
France/United Kingdom, 1993. BBC Films, CiBy 2000, British Screen Finance Ltd., European Co-production Fund. Screenplay by Leslie Megahey. Cinematography by John Hooper. Produced by David M. Thompson. Music by Alexandre Desplat. Production Design by Bruce Macadie. Costume Design by Anne Buruma. Film Editing by Isabelle Dedieu.
In the Middle Ages in France, animals were considered as equally subject to the law as humans were, and therefore the crimes they committed were brought to public trials complete with lawyers and a jury. Sounds more like a comedic skit, but this film is actually dead serious in its depiction of this very strange piece of legal history. Colin Firth is excellent as a lawyer assigned to defend a pig when it is accused of murdering a little boy. The Roma group to whom the pig belongs to are desperate for their possession to be found Not Guilty, as the animal represents a huge amount of income and survival for them. Firth at first finds the ordeal to be a big joke not worthy of his attention, but a little investigation in the matter ends up revealing many secrets about the tiny French village that he is living in. This film starts off riveting, engrossing you in its many plot tangles and enchanting visuals, then boils down to a weak ending and melodramatic finish. A real waste, considering the brilliant work being done by all involved, especially singer Amina Annabi as the gypsy woman who appeals to Firth for her pig and ends up stealing his heart.