Part of SFFILM Festival
Director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings & Queen, Festival 2005) returns to his beloved hometown of Roubaix, but shifts gears from the family-centered dramas he’s known for to this tense police procedural. Police forces, though, often take on familial dynamics, and this film’s benevolent patriarch is kind-hearted Chief Daoud (Roschdy Zem). Uncovering the truth behind cases involving disappearance, murder, and arson, Daoud and his team uncover a town of simmering religious tensions and unchecked poverty. The always wonderful Léa Seydoux and Sara Forestier co-star.
“Oh Mercy! is a striking stylistic departure for Desplechin. By the standards of florid pseudo auto-biopics such as Kings and Queen and Ismael’s Ghosts this film is an exercise in formal and tonal restraint. Desplechin has cited The Wrong Man as an influence here, and one can see the Alfred Hitchcock film’s docudramatic legacy in prolonged sequences that savor the particulars.” –Chuck Bowen, Slant
Arnaud Desplechin began his film career in the 1980s as a cinematographer before moving into writing and directing. He made his directorial debut with La vie des morts (1991), winning the Prix Jean Vigo for Short Film. He received César Award nominations for Best First Work and Best Screenplay for La sentinelle (1992), his inaugural feature. Among his other films are Esther Kahn (2000), Kings & Queen (Festival 2005), A Christmas Tale (2008), My Golden Days (2015), and Ismael’s Ghosts (2017).
Original Language Title Roubaix, une lumière
Director Arnaud Desplechin
Producer Pascal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat
Writer Arnaud Desplechin, Léa Mysius
Editor Laurence Briaud
Cinematographer Irina Lubtchansky
Music Grégoire Hetzel
Cast Roschdy Zem, Léa Seydoux, Sara Forestier