The Connection (La French) (2014)

CEDRIC JIMENEZ

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

France, 2014.  Gaumont, Légende Films, France 2 Cinéma, Canal+, Ciné+, France Télévisions, Scope Pictures, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, La Wallonie, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Centre National de la Cinématographie.  Screenplay by Cédric Jimenez, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2014.

The infamous French Connection was a drug ring supplying an even bigger criminal syndicate in America, already famous by the mid-seventies when this film begins thanks to William Friedkin’s Oscar-winning classic.  It’s also the bane of Marseille’s reputation by the time Pierre Michel (Jean Dujardin) is assigned to take over as the city’s police magistrate in charge of narcotics affairs.  Michel (played with easy charm by the imperturbable Dujardin) immediately makes an enemy of the leader of operations, Gaetan (‘Tany’) Zampa () and begins targeting Zampa’s henchmen, aided by a crack team of terrific police officers and dragged down by the spiderweb nature of the drug ring and even corruption within his own ranks.  This French police epic is a worthy sibling to a Scorsese gangland film, with its great period details and rapid-fire editing; one would hope for something a little more eccentric than just a carbon-copy of Hollywood filmmaking (right down to the predictable toll that Michel’s devotion to the job takes on his home life) from the country that gave us some of the most original artists in the medium of cinema.  Its perfectly logical direction by Cedric Jimenez keeps the plot bouncy for over two hours, however, and with the winning cast (which also includes a memorable ) and rich but not obnoxious period details it is pulled off with great humour and style.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s