Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Lacombe Lucien

Posted by martinteller on August 14, 2007

At the tail end of WWII, a rash and restless French adolescent attempts to join the Resistance movement.  When he gets rejected, he instead joins the Gestapo.  It’s a chilling and nuanced tale that shows how easily the innocent (or weak-minded) can become complicit in evil.  Malle explores a lot of grey area here, and does it intelligently.  Scenes of brutality and vulgar displays of power are often balanced with gentle moments of hopefulness for humanity.  Cinematically, the film doesn’t break any new ground, but it is a nice piece of work.  It’s a thoughtful, slightly Bressonian film.  Sadly, Pierre Blaise (Lucien) was killed in an accident only a year later at the age of 23.  He did a marvelous job.  Rating: 9


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