I've seen a handful of Chabrol films and have so far been impressed with all of them. This film is my first experience of Chabrol's work in the eighties and while I'm not surprised at the fact that it gets lambasted by some; and it's not quite up to the great French director's previous high standards, personally I found this to be yet another great example of Chabrol's moody and brooding direction coupled with an interesting plot line and some good performances. The plot is not quite as deep as the ones seen in previous Chabrol films, but there's still plenty to chew on. The base of the story is Madame Curo and her son Louis. They live in a house that is wanted by two unscrupulous people in the village, but what they don't realise is that the son can read their mail, owing to the fact that he works at the post office - which gives them an advantage. The plot kicks off properly when Louis puts sugar into the tank of one of the men's cars, which soon results in a fatal car accident. After the disappearance of the other man's wife, a hard nosed police officer is brought in to investigate.
This film has one of the strangest titles I've ever heard of - 'Poulet au vinaigre', translating literally as "Chicken with the Vinegar". Quite what that means, I have no idea. The film has a fair few different plots going on, but the one that Chabrol seems most interested in is the one surrounding Louis, who finds himself in the middle of a "war" that is a bit too big for him and has to deal with his needy, sick mother at the same time. The murder investigation does provide the film with one of its main narratives; but since it doesn't kick off until we're halfway through, it's clear that it wasn't Chabrol's main concern. The acting is very good all round, with Lucas Belvaux making a convincing lead and getting good support from Chabrol's ex-wife and regular muse Stéphane Audran, Jean Poiret; who is excellent as the formidable police officer and my personal favourite, the exquisite Pauline Lafont as the love interest. Chabrol seems to have a thing for ending his films abruptly, and that is the case here as while everything is wrapped up by the end, it is done in a matter of about five minutes. Overall, it's not hard to imagine why this film isn't as well liked as some of Chabrol's other work - but for my money it's still a more than worthwhile thriller and comes recommended.
Cop au Vin
Crime / Mystery
Cop au Vin
Crime / Mystery
When a small town of Normandy begins losing its citizenry in a series of strange deaths, out-of-town police inspector Jean Lavardin (Jean Poiret) is sent to investigate. Could the killers be a bullied son (Lucas Belvaux) and his possessive and manipulative mother (Stephane Audran) ? Or a pushy trio of local public figures and land developers wanna-be?
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 20, 2020 at 08:23 AM