Feux Rouges (2003)

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Director: Cédric Kahn
Cast: Jean Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Deniard


An insurance worker and his corporate lawyer wife drive south one Friday night of a holiday weekend to collect their children from a 'colonie de vacances'. At the same time he embarks on an odyssey of drinking bouts which seems to herald a crisis in their relationship and which imperils both himself and his wife.

The Review

For half its length this Simenon adaptation comes across as one of those personal relationship dramas that the French do so well; then it turns into the low-key thriller they do equally impressively. The director's clinical style is present in the deliberate pacing, in the minutes-long scene involving a series of phone calls the husband makes from an obliging cafe, and in the sober exchanges that take place in the hospital at the end. The whole is a triumph of concentration and continuity of tone, with actors and director taking equal credit, along with the atmospheric accompaniment of Debussy's Nuages.