Le Havre


Le Havre

Critics Consensus

Aki Kaurismäki's deadpan wit hits a graceful note with Le Havre, a comedy/drama that's sweet, sad, and uplifting in equal measure.



Total Count: 94


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,321
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Movie Info

In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight. -- (C) Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Le Havre

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (93) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Le Havre

  • Jan 10, 2014
    The bad news: Kaurismäki is no longer the irreverent, refreshing and absurdist Finnish auteur we knew. The good news: He still delivers. <i>Le Havre</i> is possibly Kaurismäki's most accessible film. It presents a French contemporary setting completely seasoned with Nouvelle Vague characters, from the way they talk and behave, to the way they dress. You travel right back to the late 60s and 70s, but you don't. The film presents a dramatic plot told in the most unusual of ways, with some depressing punches to the face which effect is softened by discreet comedic relief, in case the feature was not accessible enough. For any reason(s) that may be discovered through the personal interpretation of the viewer, the director gives some nods to his past self with some evident references, such as Marcel's character briefly describing to Idrissa his past "bohemian life" managing to make a living "only with artistic success". So, even if the plot description or my opening bad news may not offer you enough incentives to watch this, you must remember something important. Kaurismäki never told dramatic stories in standard ways, and he certainly doesn't this time either. That's a good thing. Moreover, his trademarks are still vivid: the comedic moments, the depressing themes, the struggle to make a living, the coffee breaks, the cigarettes and the bars... 80/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2013
    I heard of Aki from the title Le Havre, which starts off as a very charming but honest piece. The film shows class seperation very well. It's not just the rich, bourgeois, and poor in this film. The movie goes more in depth showing the working class, the beggars, the refugees/migrant workers, ect. And when you look at the protagonist Marcel Marx, getting his shoe stand kicked over at the beggining, he seems like a pitiful low class man. But once you seem him in the refugee camp he presents himself as a lawyer. This film reminds me of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul when it shows how quickly people can change their attitude to you, and on how Marcel starts becoming a taker. The acting in this film wasn't great, the refugee boy and the wife were noticeably stiff, and characterless in their given roles. The film also loses all it's realism in the concluding scenes, this is unfortunate, since it doesn't fit in with the rest, and the rest was far more down my alley.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2013
    A beautiful modern day fairy-tale with a humanistic sensibility, this wonderful film put me in mind of The Kid With A Bike. Prepare to have your heart melted.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jun 05, 2012
    This is the first Kaurismaki film I have seen and from this I can't wait to watch his highly critically acclaimed catalogue. I was absolutely charmed by this film. The deadpan humour, emotional detachment and colourful aesthetic is something I am very surprised I enjoyed. This is because I am never swept away by Wes Anderson's work because I find it lacks any depth because of its deadpan humour, emotional detachment and aesthetic takeover, but with Kaurismaki, he shows what a truly intelligent director can do with those attributes. Behind all the dry, colourful aesthetic there is a heavy weighted themes of working class life and even a tightly strung note of satire but it is never compromised by the deadpan wit, but subtly complimented. I walked out of the theatre with not just a warm glow but gears grinding in my mind.
    Hassan V Super Reviewer

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