Le Havre

[pg]

France 2012, 93 mins
Director: Aki Kaurismaki
Starring: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Kati Outinen

Set in the eponymous Normandy port town, LE HAVRE is a sweet comedy about an elderly shoe-shiner named Marcel (the superb Wilms, EUROPA EUROPA) who assists a young North African immigrant (newcomer Miguel) on his passage to London.

Director Aki Kaurismäki (LIGHTS IN THE DUSK) is Finnish by birth, but the unmistakable French personality of his film sets an enchantingly breezy tone, especially in the chemistry between Wilms and his onscreen wife Kati Outinen (Kaurismäki's THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST), whose Arletty becomes seriously ill midway through.

It's not hard to see why this charming delight picked up the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes 2011.

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