France, Germany 2016
In French, Finnish subtitles
For audiences aged 16 and above
'Set two years before "Downton Abbey" on a wind-blown inlet along the northern coast of France, Bruno Dumont's "Slack Bay" adds a surreal twist to the peculiar clash between the classes witnessed in Europe, circa 1910. For Dumont, who has spent his entire career wallowing in the mud and misery of this particular region (his own home turf), "Slack Bay" feels both more and less like a movie than anything the misanthropic filmmaker has done before. It's a period piece, for one, allowing him to indulge a novel sense of pageantry. But more importantly, it's a return to comedy for a grump who found redemption via humor in his last outing, "Li'l Quinquin," and while this one - which landed a competition slot at Cannes - offers better commercial prospects, both in France and abroad (thanks in part to the participation of silly-acting movie stars), Dumont is still finding his feet in the genre.
Actually, comedy is just one of a multitude of genres Dumont tosses into a gumbo pot boiling over with grubby regional portraiture (his comfort zone, dating back to "The Life of Jesus"), bumbling police detective story (echoes of "Li'l Quinquin"), heightened social farce and - as the secret spice that defines the dish - tongue-in-cheek cannibal intrigue. It's a film that, had Blockbuster Video stores not gone the way of the film's more whimsical sartorial fancies (such as Juliette Binoche's tropical-bird-festooned sunhat), a wisenheimer might have shelved directly between "Delicatessen" and "Deliverance."'
Peter Debruge, Variety
Director: Bruno Dumont
Screenplay: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Jean-Luc Vincent, Didier Desprès, Brandon Lavieville, Raph, Cyril Rigaux
Production: Jean Bréhat, Rachid Bouchareb & Muriel Merlin / 3B Productions