Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bob le Flambeur

An aged noble gambling junkie (Roger Duchesne) assembles a motley team of underworld sorts to rob a casino and sees it through even as the police start to catch on. You can palpably feel the Hollywood noirish influences on Jeanne-Pierre Melville's Bob le Flambeur (Bob the Gambler) but you can also discern its impact, both the immediate one concerning style and substance on the French New Wave and also in the longer run on buddy crime pictures, Ocean's 11 coming foremost to mind. And though, much of Melville's film lies before it and in its wake, it is its own, creating a nostalgic, laconic feel, wonderfully incorporating irony, and offering a pious Duchesne in a very likable lead performance. Also, the finale is brilliant.
*** 1/2 out of ****