On the crime-ridden streets of a decaying French city, a police chief’s investigation into the murder of an elderly woman on Christmas night leads him to two unlikely suspects.
Acclaimed director Arnaud Desplechin (My Golden Days, PFF24) lends his unique touch to the crime procedural with Cannes Competition highlight Oh Mercy!, set in the director’s hometown of Roubaix, France. A once-thriving industrial city, Roubaix has succumbed to a disappearing working class and a dizzying spike in crime. Desplechin tracks cool-headed local Police Chief Daoud (Roschdy Zem) and newly recruited investigator Louis (Antoine Reinartz) as they respond to heinous crimes on Christmas night. Burning abandoned cars, lone gunshots, and Louis’s weathered stoicism all contribute to a tense atmosphere of looming dread, while the film’s simmering, moody score threatens violence down every unlit alley. Daoud and Louis meet their match when they bring in the pugnacious Claude (Léa Seydoux) and skittish Marie (Sara Forestier) under suspicion of murder. Capturing the delicate, intense dance of a police interrogation in near real time, Desplechin creates a thrilling dramatic centerpiece that calls into question the honesty and ideology of all players involved. Inspired by true events, Oh Mercy! is an astounding achievement in building a fully realized and populated Roubaix, and a gripping foray into a new genre for Desplechin.
CAST: ROSCHDY ZEM, LÉA SEYDOUX, SARA FORESTIER
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