Le Havre

(2011)

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Roger's Office: Le Havre

Transcript for Roger's Office: Le Havre

 

[ROGER]
The winner of this year's Chicago Film Festival is "Le Havre," named after the port city in France. This is Bill Kurtis, speaking for Roger Ebert. The director is Aki Kaurismaki, from Finland, one of my favorite directors. It tells the story of a young boy named Idrisson, who is smuggled into France from Africa. He escapes a police chase, and an old shine man named Marcel takes pity and hides him.

Marcel enlists the help of his wife to conceal the boy.

Eventually the whole neighborhood is in on the conspiracy, which is a great frustration to a police inspector.

Kaurismaki specializes in downbeat, introverted characters who are usually losers in life. His settings are drab and shabby. Yet his films are never depressing. There's always an undercurrent of dark humor and irony in them.

"Le Havre is a rare upbeat film from Kaurismaki--in a way, you could call it his first feel good film. You could almost call the ending miraculous. "Le Havre" also won prizes at the Cannes and Munich film festivals. Look for it opening soon nationally.Thumbs up.