Cop au Vin

1985 [FRENCH]

Crime / Mystery

2
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1441

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 20, 2020 at 08:23 AM

Director

Cast

Stéphane Audran as Madame Cuno
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1007.87 MB
1204*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 49 min
P/S 12 / 28
1.83 GB
1792*1072
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 49 min
P/S 16 / 36

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by The_Void 8 / 10

Later, lesser but still worthwhile thriller from Claude Chabrol

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.

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 7 / 10

one can do everything my bloke when one is in the police force!

I have sometimes written in some reviews about some Claude Chabrol's flicks that I didn't find "Poulet Au Vinaigre" a memorable work. However I watched it recently and it's not that bad after all. Of course, it is several notches below such incomparable works as "La Femme Infidèle" (1969) or "Le Boucher" (1970) but it remains thoroughly watchable. Congratulations to the English film distributors who found an equivalent for the translation of the French title into English. It is perfectly well translated.

When in 1984, Chabrol starts the preparation of this "Poulet Au Vinaigre", he endured three fiasco in a row. The eighties didn't look a fruitful decade for him. "Le Cheval D'Orgeuil" (1980) got bogged down in a spate of clichés about Brittany and betrayed Pierre-Jakey Hélias' book. "Les Fantômes Du Chapelier" (1982), his first venture in Georges Simenon's universe was well received by French critics but hardly anybody went to see it. "Le Sang Des Autres" (1984) was a turgid and impersonal film in his spotty but riveting career.

So, what could Chabrol do to get things back on an even keel and to be reconciled with both critics and his public? Very simply, to cook them a typical Chabrolesque dish to the core with a minimum of money (the filmmaker wanted to show that it was possible to shoot good films with a modest budget in times of inflation) and time (a few weeks of shooting were sufficient for him to shoot his film). Thus, he kept turning over the staple ingredients which made his hallmark recognizable. He needed the apparently peaceful scenery of a small provincial town. Here, he chose Forges-Les Eaux in Normandy which isn't very far from I live in Rouen! The perfect backdrop for his story. Then, precisely a solidly structured story with several functions. First, to grab and entertain the audience and his fans with a certainly derivative but catchy storytelling. Louis Cuno is a timid postman who lives under her mother's thumb (Stéphane Audran). They refuse to sell their house to a trio of perfidious, perverse bourgeois, the doctor Morasseau, the butcher Filiol and the notary Lavoisier (Michel Bouquet) who want to set up a momentous and shady estate business. As he is a postman, Louis gets information about this trio of upper-class people At night, Louis spies them and one night, he kills the butcher by pouring sugar in the essence of his car and the maverick inspector Lavardin (Jean Poiret) keeps on harassing him... Then, Delphine Morasseau, the doctor's wife seems to have absconded while Anna Foscarie (Caroline Cellier) a prostitute is found dead in a car crash. With his unconventional methods, Lavardin will find the truth...

It is at this reading that we fully understand Chabrol's mainspring for the last function of his scenario and perhaps the most essential ingredient: to unearth skeletons in the closet of his trio of bourgeois and to shatter the respectability of the provincial bourgeoisie which has usually been Chabrol's trademark. He tapped it again with gusto here. But his scenario also encompasses a dash of psychology to better construe the persona of his characters and it gives more substance to his work.

Chabrol served his film (and his recipe) with ingenious camera work too. It encompasses neat camera angles and fluid camera movements which can only rejoice the gourmets. To enable them to fully savor the film, Chabrol shot his story on an unhurried pace. There was also effort on the lighting and framing which are up to scratch to the aura the film conveys according to the circumstances. And the director didn't put aside his pronounced taste for gastronomy. The inspector Lavardin is nutty about paprika eggs. He has eaten 30,000 of them in his life! At last, the chef Chabrol spiced up his work with a soupçon of deadpan humor essentially provided by the apparently nice Lavardin. By the way, is it innocuous humor? One has to admit that Lavardin's methods to make the suspects speak aren't really reassuring.

Maybe the cast contains a few little drawbacks. Lucas Belvaux is not bad but often bland. Pauline Laffont's acting is sometimes annoying. Jean Claude Bouillaud acts a caricatured character. But Stéphane Audran (once Mrs Chabrol) is excellent as usual. Like in "la Rupture" (1970), she was Michel Bouquet's enemy. This is precisely Bouquet who dominates the cast at the level of the quality of the acting with of course Jean Poiret.

In the end, the chef Chabrol concocted the audience and his fans an eatable even tasty "Poulet Au Vinaigre" which pleased a lot to the chef's connoisseurs. It was succulent enough to prompt Chabrol to do it again with a sequel which opened the next year: "Inspecteur Lavardin" (1986). That said, Chabrol's "pièce De resistance" in the eighties came with the contemporary "Masques" (1987) which stood the test of time quite well.

Reviewed by jotix100 7 / 10

Real estate

There is a conspiracy in the small Normandie town where a group of upright citizens want to get their hands in the Cuno's property. The Cunos, are by no means innocent themselves, they know a lot of the movements their enemies are trying to do because Louis Cuno has access to a secret weapon: their mail. Louis, who works in the local post office, has a way to read the letters with his mother before they are delivered.

Because of the accidental death of Filiol, caused in part by Louis Cuno, propels inspector Lavardin to investigate. This detective has a personal way of investigating what appears to be foul play; his methods are unorthodox. at best. He deals with Lavoisier, one of the men in the conspiracy, with an iron hand, as he discovers that Anna, his mistress, has disappeared without trace.

Louis is hounded by the detective, even though he has nothing to do with all that is going on around him. By arising suspicions in the inspector's mind and by being careless when he attracts undue attention by going out with Henriette, his postal co-worker, he feels the heat. Fortunately, Lavardin solves the mystery that clears the young man and his mother, who almost dies when she tries to set the house on fire.

A minor Chabrol, like the case of this film, is still interesting to watch. The film is based on a novel by Dominique Roulet, who also adapted it. Claude Chabrol works with great economy in the way he sets his film in the small Normandy town and uses it to great advantage.

The performances are not up to some of the best efforts by the director. Jean Poiret's Lavardin presents a man who could be accused of police brutality in the way he deals with the people under suspicion. Michel Bouquet has some good moments as Hubert Lavoisier, an ambitious man who wants to get the Cuno property for himself. Stephane Audran, a frequent Chabrol collaborator, doesn't have much to do as the invalid Mme. Cuno. Lucas Belvaux, who has the best part in the story, gives an uneven performance. Pauline Lafont and Caroline Cellier are also seen in small roles.

See the film as a curiosity from Claude Chabrol.

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