Combustible Celluloid
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With: André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel, Elina Salo, Evelyne Didi, Quoc Dung Nguyen, Laïka
Written by: Aki Kaurismäki
Directed by: Aki Kaurismäki
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 93
Date: 05/17/2011

Le Havre (2011)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Learning to Shine

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki returns with another of his deadpan comedies, reminiscent of the great silent comedians, though this one is arguably one of his gentlest as well. Marcel Marx (André Wilms) is an aged shoe-shiner in the French harbor city of Le Havre. After his loving wife (Kati Outinen) goes to the hospital, Marcel unexpectedly rescues a young African refugee, Idrissa (Blondin Miguel), and invites him into their home. Marcel tries to raise money for the boy by putting on a concert with local star "Little Bob." Kaurism�ki manages to stay true to his downbeat roots, but with a slight, happy, sentimental streak that's as earned as it is welcome.
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