Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inspector Bellamy (2009)****

Reviewed by Shu Zin

INSPECTOR BELLAMY is a sensitive, thoughtful character study of a middle-aged detective on vacation in Nimes, where he and his wife stay at the house Bellamy and his brother grew up in. As the very last movie directed by the prodigious Claude Chabrol before his death in 2010, I find it quite the nuanced study of a man past his peak, full of little insecurities, yet still alert, sympathetic and kicking when it comes to solving crime. 

Gerard Depardieu does a great job playing the kindly inspector. Those who find him gross because he is fat have eyes in their heads, but not much in the way of humanity or empathy; they should probably stick to the slim, vacuous people from Hollywood. For me, the actors tonnage added to the credibility and pathos of the character. 

The supporting characters, Bellamy’s wife (Marie Bunel), his troubled brother (Clovis Cornillac), the odd fellow who confesses to murder, the sophisticated fellow who, curiously, lives on the street and his girlfriend of 5 years, a gay dentist and his sweetie, even the wife of the mysterious insurance guy who confesses, are all well-acted, intriguing characters, and while this may not be one of Chabrol's very best films, it has charm and held me engrossed in these people and the story. Highly recommended, and if, like me, you have seen everything you can lay your hands on by Chabrol, see it as a final tribute to his long and prolific career. He is one of the most interesting French directors in my opinion and, certainly, he left an enormous body of work to entertain and intrigue French film lovers. 

Reviewed by Shu Zin

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