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Inspector Bellamy (2009)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

36

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 1,080

My Rating

Movie Info

Two of the giants of French cinema, Claude Chabrol and Gerard Depardieu, team up for the only time for the director's 50th and final feature film, a wry thriller about a police commissioner trying to balance professional instinct with family duty. Once again, Paul Bellamy (Depardieu) and his wife are spending their vacation at her family home in a quiet town. But just as they're settling into their reassuringly predictable holiday routine, his perennially troubled younger brother shows up,

Dec 1, 2009

$0.1M

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (3) | DVD (2)

It's a small work. Yet it's so pleasurably well-made, so obviously the work of major talents in a comfortable groove, why carp about the scale or ambition of the project?

February 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you, like me, are a lover of Simenon's Inspector Maigret, you will find his nature embodied here in the performance of Gerard Depardieu. If you are not, get your hands on a Maigret novel and thank me for the rest of your life.

February 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sadly bland footnote to an illustrious and influential career.

December 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Depardieu and Marie Bunel (as Bellamy's wife) have a terrific interplay, but Chabrol's sharp direction can't quite rescue his fuzzy script.

November 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Inspector Bellamy leaves a sense not unlike a summary of Chabrol's entire career -- of guilty stains seeping away in every direction, of motives hidden and of endless stories that frustrate full understanding.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is in no hurry to end, much as its prolific maker never showed much inclination to stop.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dry, moody -- VERY Chabrol. Depardieu makes it worth watching

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

Chabrol's craft, confidence and unshowy professionalism drives this crafty story even as it turns the conventions of the murder mystery inside out.

March 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

Inspector Bellamy is still a beautifully crafted film with a compelling and enjoyable performance by Depardieu

January 29, 2011 Full Review Source: KPBS.org
KPBS.org

... there are major pleasure to be had in the minor production from an old master.

January 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Meditative Chabrol asking us to consider the vagaries of life, family, corruption and murder.

January 22, 2011 Full Review Source: ReviewExpress.com
ReviewExpress.com

As always, Chabrol, who died last September, moves this along without a bit of fuss -- there's not a superficial camera move, scene or directing choice to be found.

January 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Bellamy is a perfect film for Chabrol to go out on.

January 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Wonderful thinking man's crime drama.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Off-balance - a state in which Chabrol liked to keep his audiences. He's successful one last time ... a film that never quite reveals itself in the way an audience would like.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

The final film of French auteur Claude Chabrol was his first collaboration with legendary actor Gérard Depardieu, the main reason to see this enigmatic mystery.

October 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Chabrol re-imagines the detective genre in the course of practicing it.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

An amiable and philosophical French film about the intimacy of marital love, the art of crime detection, and the confession of a dark family secret.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Inspector Bellamy

For better or worse, Inspector Bellamy is more of a character study than a murder mystery. Early on a gentleman actually confesses to the crime, so the procedural part of the film really takes a back seat - to the point where you really don't care who done it or why.

Gerard Depardieu plays the main character and does an adequate job - similar to David Suchet playing Poirot - full of little mannerisms and a certain gleam in his eye as he pieces together the, frankly, not very interesting case. What is certainly more interesting is Bellamy's relationship with his wife and younger brother, though even there the film teeters on the brink of melodrama, especially concerning the brother.

I dunno, maybe because I was reading subtitles, but the film never grabbed me. There were some nice moments between Bellamy and his wife, played out with a slowness and grace born of life experience - but then the script throws in some goofy histrionics that make you shake your head and wonder WTF? Case in point is a scene where Inspector and wife are walking along an avenue discussing not much of anything, when the Inspector stops to make some point or other, and then almost walks into an open manhole, only to be saved at the last minute by wifey. He then shakely tells her that he has always been the lucky one, and that he was lucky to have landed her.... Ok, but throughout the film she keeps reminding him that she wants to go on a cruise - and he keeps refusing her. If he is indeed so lucky to have her, then granting her wish would be a surefire show of his love. But Noooooooo. I suppose that's the point of it all - showing a couple who are as comfortable with each other as an old pair of shoes, and indeed there is a bit of overall subletly in the message, which for me collides with the type of clumsly set up mentioned above. The obvious sybolism here is that, except for the Inspector getting lucky and finding a woman who not only loves him, but understands him, he might have indeed fallen down that manhole and into the same sewer of life that his brother wallows in.

Again, I compare to Poirot on Masterpiece Mystery - not the greatest stuff in the world, but a guilty pleasure - I wish I could say the same here as it was the last work of legendary writer/director Claude Charbrol. He makes ze leetle film, but really, there's no point or revelation in what he is "saying" in the film, in spite of the earnest filming.
August 1, 2011
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Inspector Paul Bellamy(Gerard Depardieu) and his wife Francoise(Marie Bunel) are staying at the house of her family in a small town. But this is no vacation as danger is never far from him. In this case, it is lurking just outside of his home in the person of Noel Gentil(Jacques Gamblin) who finally musters the courage to ring the doorbell. At first, Francoise tells him to get lost but Paul, ever curious, eventually agrees to go to the motel room where he is holed up to patiently listen to his story. And then trouble puts in a second appearance in the person of Jacques(Clovis Cornillac), Paul's neer-do-well half brother.

What can you say about a director's last work when it starts with a shot of a cemetery, followed by a decapitated and burned corpse? With Claude Chabrol's last film, "Inspector Bellamy," it should not mean anything out of the ordinary since death has always been a constant presence in his films. In this movie, time may be running out for Paul, as he is physically slowing down with fallen arches and weight gain(Francoise seems intent on giving away much of his old clothing since it is now too small for him). Even his once forbidable mental faculties may be giving out on him as he has problems with the easy clues in a crossword puzzle but can still work out a real life mystery. And then there is the uneasy relationship with Jacques. As routine as all of this might seem, it still does one thing in a courtroom that "Law and Order" never did in all of its years on television.
November 23, 2010
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

*Contains Spoilers*

Inspector Bellamy, while it follows the French cinema stereotypes, is one of the most beautiful studies of humanity that I've ever seen. This slow French thriller, is absolutely stunning, in its underlining plot, which is fully revealed at the end. The central message is fairly clear, as inspected through Bellamy the people he surrounds himself with is what he becomes. When his thief half-brother comes to visit, he picks up his drinking habit. When he starts a studying his sexually obsessed "client" he becomes fishy that his wife is cheating. But really the film isn't about him studying anyone, but instead a soul search
Of himself. Bellamy becomes Noel, his wife becomes Noel's wife, his brother represents the homeless man, and the store clerk represents the mistress. It really is beautiful when the puzzle comes together. Makes me want to watch more from Depardieu, who fits his character perfectly. A must watch of French cinema.
November 10, 2013
Daniel Dolgin

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Kommissar Bellamy (DE)
  • Bellamy (UK)
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