The Criterion Collection
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In this warmhearted comic yarn from Aki Kaurismäki (The Match Factory Girl), fate throws the young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (La vie de bohème’s André Wilms), a kindly bohemian who shines shoes for a living, in the French harbor city Le Havre. With inborn optimism and the support of most of his tight-knit community, Marcel stands up to the officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic French cinema of the past, especially the poetic realist works of Jean Duvivier and Marcel Carné, LE HAVRE is a charming, deadpan delight and one of the Finnish director’s finest films.
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to have your tissues handy. It's the kind of movie you can see more than once. I bought it when I was enchanted with Kati Outinen in A Man With No Past as a Salvation Army inner-city missionary. I went to high school with A Salvation Army girl and Kati Outinen captures the role with very realistic sweetness, warmth and modesty.
The local bar-fly characters, dour French neighbors, and the helpful cop play their roles to perfection.
The star of the movie who earns a meagre living shining shoes is played by Andre Wilms whose acting is above and beyond any expectations of a great performance. Academy Award material.
There is some music added to this movie and the additional material on the DVD is also worth viewing.