Petit Lieutenant, Le

Director: Xavier Beauvois
Year Released: 2005
Rating: 3.0

Though nothing you or I (no doubt) haven't already seen on several TV programs, this is a solid, underappreciated policier, told with nuance and calm, about an unresolved murder in Paris and the ensuing investigation. Under the surface runs several odd currents: the tension between an older, female detective and the title newcomer, the fascination with American cinema (posters adorn the walls of the police station) and the monotony of the job itself (Beauvois strips the job of flash, leaving the human element behind). Television and popular cinema make the job appear as if it's fantasy - this removes the gloss, leaving the heavy-drinking and tragedy exposed.