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In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 84
- Fresh: 83
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 7.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Does Kaurismaki believe in his own fairy tale? The movie, a humble delight, suggests the answer is yes.
Fresh: The Finnish director's sense of humor is dry and dark as pitch, as he consistently finds moments of absurdity in the midst of strife and tragedy.
Fresh: Kaurismaki wrote the script, I think, with secret credit from Mother Goose and some fabric softener.
Fresh: We are so held by the film's impact that its ending, surprise or not, is like a bonus.
An amazing fable!
It is entertaining, and quite a story, it should be more than 5 stars!
Fable? Sorry, but I found it simply two dimensional.
It's as if the actors were commenting on their own performances. I suppose most of these positive reviews enjoy that sense of other, but I found myself frustratingly ahead of every moment. Where is the restraint? Was there any austerity? I feel like I watched a French version of a hollywood blockbuster where the "meaning" of every moment is hammered into the brain. And then a few extra whacks for good measure. Yes, it has a lovely message. But how many minutes did we endure well-meaning characters staring piquantly at the near mute African boy? That is not a scene! That is an idea which could be conveyed in a moment, not a minute!
saw this at an open air summer kino in berlin. a lovely movie event with beach chairs food beer on a sloping stone ground and cool night sky. the movie is good but my memory of it all is even better.