"Given all the hype around this you’d think it’s a masterpiece"

As I’ve said before, I’m always excited about French films. Generally I find that they’re a lot more delicate and insightful and so almost irrelevant of what the film is about it feels like a much more luxurious couple of hours then any American blockbuster could ever hope for. This was a weird one, however. In the beginning there was lots of insight, lots of emotions and humanity and wonderful performances. And then something really weird happened; they started playing American gangster rap!! Something ridiculous like 50 Cent I think.

But it was ironic! I hear you scream. Erm, no, I don’t think it was actually. Why why why? I will never know. The film never quite recovers after that. I suppose that after that little incident their desperation to make a big movie, rather then a work of art, lingers until the end. And they've achieved their goal; lots of critical acclaim, huge fuss at all the festivals, even a Golden Globe nomination! Maybe this will get more people to experiment with foreign language films, but sadly it also takes away some of it's charm.

So, probably three fifths of this were perfect – perfect actors, perfect story, perfect message, and all of it beautifully shot. The rest was still far better then any American drama/thriller I’ve seen, even the massive blood bath was beautifully choreographed…but please, if you really think that the audience may still not know that he’s in prison and gangster rap really is paramount to getting that message across…as least use a French guy!