I did not see yet the last film of Jacques Audiard Un Prophete which enjoyed great success in Europe and was brought to Israel a few weeks ago. I did however have the opportunity to see now (from the ARTE TV channel) this previous film that he directed in 2005 and my feeling is that I have met the work of one of the most interesting and complete directors in the French cinema today.

source www.imdb.com

It is usually the European cinema that comes with the original ideas and the American Hollywood industry that creates the remake, with lesser or greater success. Here the path is reversed. A film with a very similar theme about the son of a Mafia head trying to break with the family and with the life of crime in order to get back to the classical music making that was his childhood passion was Fingers made in 1978 by James Toback with Harvey Keitel (one of my prefered actors) making one of his finest roles ever. Here with the action is transferred in the Paris of today, the main role is being taken over by Romain Duris, a fine actor who succeeds to make us believe in his character fighting an almost impossible fight for redemption and evasion from his milieu, and especially makes us care about him.

(video source fransefilm)

Duris is supported by a team of actors which is best selected and do a great job – especially Niles Arestrup as the young man’s father for whom he cares, and from whom he must escape in order to have any chance to find a new path in life, and Linh Dan Pham as the Chinese pianist who teaches the hero lessons to help him get back on the track of art, without knowing any French. The scenes between the two, one speaking French , the other Chinese (with no subtitles) and communicating only by mimic and especially by music are both dramatic and moving. It’s a solid drama and a complex film, but never a complicated one, so it’s a real thrilling cinema experience to watch it.