L'Homme du Train
2002, France
Dir. Patrice Leconte
cert 12A, 90 mins

shown February 2004

An ageing criminal arrives by train in a provincial town and strikes up an unlikely friendship with a retired schoolteacher

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Guardian Review

BBC Review

 

"You'd have to be French to fully appreciate Patrice Leconte's coupling of actor Jean Rochefort with rock star Johnny Hallyday in "L'Homme du Train". Imagine Laurence Olivier starring with Elvis Presley and you might get some idea of the cultural weight this partnership carries across La Manche."  BBCi

"Patrice Leconte's latest is a tale of opposites attracting and men having to do what they have to do. Johnny Hallyday plays Milan, a drifting career criminal whose brooding lupine features and permanently red eyes betray how he is at once hardened to and weary of life. Arriving in a backwater town in which the hotel doesn't have much call to open in November (or, for that matter, in August) he instead holes up with Manesquier (Rochefort), a bored and vaguely eccentric former literature teacher, who inhabits the huge, decaying mansion that has been passed along his family for centuries. As they await, respectively, for the bank job and the triple heart bypass they have pencilled in for the coming Saturday, the two men grow to like and trust each other. Both men see in the other a glimpse of a lifestyle they never got round to trying."  

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