Aki Kaurismäki directs André Wilms, Blondin Miguel and Jean-Pierre Darroussin in this French comedy where an ageing shoeshiner takes in an African boy on the run from port town’s immigration authorities.
What a double bill! From watching the miserable grind of right wing bureaucracy in I, Daniel Blake to this far more cinematic and romantic yet equally powerful affair. Kaurismäki’s approach to emotive injustices is the polar opposite to Loach. Colourful, deadpan, cine-literate, playful, entertaining. The characters might be jokey blanks but they are bastions of the human spirit. Inherently good, just a little shopworn by life. Kaurismäki present people as they’d like to be – good natured, unfussily heroic and rebellious. After a didactic dose of realism from Loach, I was quite happy to embrace this weaponised fantasy. It left me with a massive smile on my face, considering it is populated exclusively by grumps and losers, that’s quite the achievement.
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We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/