Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki delivers the pick of the four French films reviewed this week (above). It centres on Marcel (André Wilms), a Le Havre shoe shiner and former bohemian, his ailing wife and a Gabonese boy wanted by the police (embodied by Jean-Pierre Darroussin's weary inspector).
The look is very old-fashioned – it resembles a Douglas Sirk melodrama from the 1950s – but it works, as do the three sympathetic central characters. A tad soppy? Yes. But it also teems with humour and a compassion that recalls Chaplin.