This year, as every year, police commissioner Paul Bellamy is spending his holiday in the South of France – in Nîmes, in a house belonging to the family of his wife, Françoise, who would much rather go on a cruise to the end of the world. Paul doesn’t want to be without his wife, but, on the other hand, he hates travelling. His holiday will be quite different this year …
This begins to become apparent as soon as Paul’s half-brother Jacques suddenly pays them a visit. Jacques is something of an adventurer with a penchant for the booze. Besides which, he is jealous of Paul’s domestic bliss. As if that wasn’t enough, Noël Gentil contacts Paul. On the run from his wife and a rather demanding mistress, Noël has sought refuge in a local hotel. He also fears he might have killed a man, but he won’t let on who it is.
Paul is prepared to help both guests, as long as it doesn’t involve too much peregrinating. Both men nonetheless take up his time and certainly his energy. With nothing except his intuition to go on, Paul begins to make some investigations to help the presumed murderer. He soon learns that it is easier to help a stranger than a member of one’s own family …
In creating the character of police commissioner Bellamy Claude Chabrol was inspired by no less a figure than Commissioner Maigret. “The idea for the film was born of my desire to create an homage to Simenon – besides, I think that Gérard Depardieu is so profoundly simenonesque. I also wanted to pay tribute to Georges Brassens. I thoroughly enjoyed myself playing both registers – the visible and the invisible – that structure the story.”
by Claude Chabrol
with Gérard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac, Jacques Gamblin, Marie Bunel, Vahina Giocante
France 2008 110’

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