A confidence man stumbles into a scam that's not only lucrative but might actually help people in this comedy-drama inspired by a true story. Paul (Francois Cluzet) is a minor league swindler who after getting out of jail finds himself in a small town in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, where the economy has been in the doldrums ever since a major road construction project was abandoned. Paul tries to pull a small scale con on someone while posing as a representative of a large construction firm, and when word gets around that one of the company's men is in town, word spreads that the highway project is on again, and local subcontractors are eager to give Paul cash payments to be part of the job. Soon Paul is managing a big road building operation, even though he doesn't know the first thing about construction, and a number of men who've been out of work for months are on his payroll. Paul also find himself working side by side with the town's mayor, a lovely widow named Stephane (Emmanuelle Devos), and the two drift into a romance, but how long can Paul keep up this game before he's found out? A L'origine (aka In The Beginning) also stars Gerard Depardieu, Vincent Rottiers and Soko.