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French Film Festival: Maigret

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Lisa Feyen

The legendary Gérard Depardieu brings to remarkable life one of the most beloved characters from 20th-century crime fiction in Maigret, the masterfully directed and hugely entertaining new film from multi-award-winning writer/director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, Ridicule, The Girl on The Bridge), based on Georges Simenon’s internationally best-selling novels.

Paris, 1953. The body of a beautiful young woman is discovered at Place Vintimille, dressed in an elegant evening gown. There is nothing to identify her, and no witnesses. Pensive and world-weary inspector Jules Maigret (Depardieu) endeavours to piece together her story, and in doing so uncovers details about her past and character. In his enquiries, he encounters Betty (Jade Labeste), a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the victim, but who also reminds him of one even closer to his own life…

Simenon (and Leconte’s) formidable protagonist - a French counterpart to Agatha Christie’s Poirot and P.D. James’ Dalgliesh - has been brought to the screen before, but Depardieu leaves an indelible stamp on the character, bringing tenderness and dignity to a man prepared to listen before he speaks, and to stand up for those without a voice. It’s an absolute pleasure to join him, as Maigret irascibly and ingeniously follows the clues.

CRIME THRILLER / FRANCE / 2022 / 88 MIN / M

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