© Twentieth Century Fox of Germany GmbH

Mea Culpa - Im Auge des Verbrechens (Mea Culpa)
France 2014

Opening 18 Sep 2014

Directed by: Fred Cavayé
Writing credits: Fred Cavayé, Guillaume Lemans, Olivier Marchal
Principal actors: Vincent Lindon, Gilles Lellouche, Nadine Labaki, Gilles Cohen, Max Baissette de Malglaive

What sets this French action film apart is impressive production values, utilized from the get-go through to the finish when all the pieces fall in place. Following a glimmering opening sequence – two families’ beach fun, a car crash – by implementing spirited sequences the narrative’s cunning developments is thrust forward. The strong bond uniting Simon (Vincent Lindon) and Franck’s (Gilles Lellouche) friendship has taken them through thick and thin; thin is Simon’s lot nowadays. Recently released from prison and estranged from Alice (Nadine Labaki), his ennui extends to their adolescent son Théo (Max Baissette de Malglaive). Regardless of Simon’s cold-shoulder treatment, Franck persists to help any way he can. Until vice encroaches with sites set on innocence, reigniting Simon.

The screenplay is based on Olivier Marchal’s (36 Quai des Orfèvres) idea: a respected filmmaker, Marchel’s 12 years as a French police officer reaps unimagined benefits. Fred Cavayé directs this suspenseful film whose plot twists on a dime: electrifying action, compelling music (Cliff Martinez), and an ingenious ending. Danny Elsen’s cinematography and Benjamin Weill’s editing – there are some stretches in the story Cavayé should have caught – unconventionally compliment one another. Evocative of noiresque thrillers, if violence makes you squeamish give this a miss. Otherwise, steel yourself for a riveting ride. (Marinell Haegelin)

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