Le Havre Screen 4 articles

Le Havre

2011

Le Havre Poster
  • In his '60s, Kaurismäki is, unexpectedly, becoming the reigning master of feel-good movies that don't coast on unearned sentiment. Wilms' brisk, unflappable good cheer sets the tone for Le Havre.

  • The camel-colored coat Marcel wears is also the color of his wooden shine-box, and of his dog, Laika. Though simple and damaged, and worn over tattered trousers and boots, it nevertheless makes him look striking; it gives him dignity and even a certain style.

  • Kaurismäki’s Le Havre is a community, one in which people don’t think twice about helping an immigrant (just as the best of them would have hidden a Jew from the Vichy government years before). And in the coda, both a woman and nature itself are reborn. Sappy? I don’t know. Perhaps instead we should call it “counterfactual utopianism.” Kaurismäki uses cinema to envision a world in which the love of humanity overcomes borders, even the one between life and death.

  • If the fusion is so expert, so unassuming in its cohesion, that he risks translating his message to more casual viewers, then the inherent power of the filmmaking carries that much more potential to quietly stun those attuned to its utopian underpinnings and universal displays of humanity.