Inspector Bellamy (2010)
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as Paul Bellamy
as Jacques Lebas
as Noel Gentil
as Francoise Bellamy
as Nadia Sancho
as Madame Leullet
as Claire Bonheur
as Madame Chantemerle
as TV Journalist
as Medical Examiner
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Critic Reviews for Inspector Bellamy
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?
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.
A sadly bland footnote to an illustrious and influential career.
Depardieu and Marie Bunel (as Bellamy's wife) have a terrific interplay, but Chabrol's sharp direction can't quite rescue his fuzzy script.
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.
The movie is in no hurry to end, much as its prolific maker never showed much inclination to stop.
Audience Reviews for Inspector Bellamy
*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.
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.
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.
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