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as Simon Calmat
as Marion Calmat
as Lieutenant Caratini
as Le père de Mina
as La mère de Mina
as Le voisin de Simon
as Le juge
as Judge of Family Affairs
as Grader in Detention Center
as le gradé chez Simon
Critic Reviews for Welcome
Puts you so completely into the shoes of a young man facing almost insurmountable obstacles that you feel a profound empathy not only for him but also for all who are ready to risk everything for the dream of a better life.
[It] has its share of clichés and contrivances. Fortunately, compensation is provided by strong performances by veteran actor Vincent Lindon as the coach and newcomer Firat Ayverdi as the refugee.
Don't discount the pleasure of watching a weathered star breathe life into an otherwise banal film.
Starting strong with its atmospheric immersion in the herd of immigrants killing time by the docks, Welcome quickly shrugs off credibility by equating Bilal's quest with Simon's angst over his recent divorce.
A one-note moral lesson devoid of dialogue with the very hot-button topics it feigns interest in.
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Audience Reviews for Welcome
A Kurdish illegal immigrant to France enlists the help of a divorced swimming instructor to aid in his swim across the English Channel to his girlfriend. Ironically titled, Welcome is acting, writing, and directing at its finest. Every little detail in this film has a unique and poignant history, from Bilal's fear of plastic bags to the piece of jewelry Simon finds under the couch cushion. And the scenes last just long enough to make the film's point. There isn't a single wasted moment of connective tissue in this film, combining French cinema's unique penchant for subtlety with universally good storytelling. Vincent Lindon, whose work here and in Mademoiselle Chambon has a soulfulness not often found in other actors, gives a phenomenal performance as Simon, and Firat Ayverdi is very compelling. The film may be an argument for immigration reform in France (and across the world), but it's more about the costs and benefits of compassion and generosity. Simon actions put him in jeopardy, and even though he may be motivated by a desire to reunite with Marion, he comes to understand that being a good person in a cruel world may be its own reward despite the costs. Overall, Welcome is not to be missed, and Lindon is proving to be an exciting force in French film.
At the French port of Calais a group of immigrants from Kurdistan gather to try crossing somehow to England (why, I don't know ... stay in France, why not?) The authorities mass to stop them, of course. And so begins this light tale adrift in the churning waters of immigration. Clichès aplenty, but solid (if implausible) turns by the leads.
A beautifully crafted story. Great actors. A thought provoking look at the issue of immigration, the challenges, the cost to individuals, and the enormous risks that desperate people are willing to take in order to improve their lives. I had no idea that the French government and police are able to wield such repressive power. Subtitles
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