Poulet au vinaigre 1985
This is a pretty conventional crime thriller of the 1980s, with some criminally dull characterisation and limp acting performances. None of the principal characters, except the formidable Lavardin, appears to have any substance, and the end result is by and large lacklustre and plodding.Thankfully, the film does have its saving graces. Firstly, the character of Lavardin is well played by Jean Poiret. The police inspector's methods and persona are so unconventional that he comes across as more frightening and sinister than any of the murder suspects. Then there is Mathieu Chabrol's eerie background music which imbues a sense of menace into even the (few) lighter scenes. But the strongest selling point is the camera work, heavily embossed with Chabrol's style. This film has some very chilling moments which are achieved through a clever combination of lighting and camera angles. The style is that of a very sophisticated suspense thriller, even if the content isn't.