Le Havre – September 9

This was the premiere of a lovely French comedy. It came with a bit of an annoying element however. A side note for those who do not do the Festival – most crazy fans like me have our schedule. It is often timed to the second. Movie 1 is 93 minutes and it is 21 minutes to the next theatre and the next movie. Movie 1 starts at 1PM and ends at 2:33PM. Movie 2 starts at 3PM and I have 21 minutes to get there. I will arrive at 2:54PM just in time to make movie 2. Now what is really annoying to fans like me is when Movie 1 starts late, even five minutes late. Le Havre started 15 minutes late!!! About 20 percent of my fellow queuers (is this a word?) were very cranky and would have to leave Le Havre early. This was my situation. Sigh.

Anyway I managed to settle down and stayed until about 10 minutes before the end but I had to leave early. I did manage to stay long enough to see how the movie would end. The charming thing that calmed me down was the presence of the star of the film, a wonderful French actor Andre Wilms. The film speaks to the increasing presence of illegal immigrants in Europe. The protagonist, Marcel Marx is an aging and poor but happy shoe shine man who has about him a loving wife and collection of friends who see him as a bumbling charming member of their community. While we learn about him and his circle of friends a group of illegal immigrants is discovered in a shipping container on a wharf in the harbour. They are going to be sent back to North Africa where they were smuggled from but one, a young boy, escapes. He and Marcel connect and Marcel decides to rescue him, hide him from the police and find a way to get him to London where his mother is waiting for him. He manages this while we learn that his wife is discovered to be terminally ill. While all this sounds pretty depressing, somehow it ends up being charming, witty and fun. Must be the French. At any rate I highly recommend this movie to everyone and I suspect it will show up in Toronto sometime in the near future. However at the end, or rather near the end, I leapt up with 20 minutes to get to my next movie. I walked from the Jackman Theatre at the AGO to the Ryerson Theartre at Church and Gerrard. Got there with 5 minutes to go.

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