Conclusion: Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre is one of the year's best films. It is a beautiful modern fairy tale with a deeply humanistic message which pays tribute to classic French cinema. Artificial Eye's Blu-ray release of Le Havre is an excellent alternative for folks residing in Region-B territories who could not take advantage of the excellent Criterion release - the film looks and sounds just as inmpressive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Did you find this review helpful?
Conclusion: I couldn't help but smile when 'Le Havre' was over. It was a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to think about afterward. Far too few movies fall into a category like that. In a world filled with pessimism and snark, it's great to see a little movie like this that shines a spotlight on the overwhelming good that resides in humanity. Most people are decent and honest is the message of 'Le Havre,' I'd like to believe that's true.
Excerpt: Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki has largely been making variations on the same movie for more than three decades. (With some exceptions: most notably, 1990’s The Match Factory Girl , an utterly chilling, Medea-like story of revenge, and not coincidentally, one of his strongest effects by far.) His usual work features loveable, lovelorn underclass characters, shaggy-dog romanticism, an eclectic soundtrack, mild-to-frisky political overtones, crazy hairdos, and so on.
Summary: Aki Kaurismäki is one of Finland’s finest writer / directors – a master of the absurd with films like Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989); Hamlet Goes Business (1987) and Drifting Clouds (1996). The location may have moved from Helsinki to the French port of Le Havre, but Kaurismäki has lost none of his surreal comic zest in translation.
Excerpt: The simplicity of this movie is material to why it will be enjoyed. It is warm hearted and unpretentious. Layers of difficult socio-political issues are pared back to create a story that humanises the plight of immigrants without visas. The kindness shown to one struggling boy and the solidarity of the town’s characters in resisting the law enforcers are natural choices. Compassion and humour perfectly blended.