The Town Is Quiet (La Ville est tranquille) (2001)

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Set within a working class milieu, the paths of many Marseille locals converge on a journey through the lives and daily struggles of a group of its inhabitants. At the center is Michele, a hardworking fishmonger, who supports an entire family. After putting in backbreaking hours, she must return home to a sullen husband and a daughter fighting a debilitating drug abuse. Michele commits to raising her baby granddaughter while her daughter battles heroin addiction. Reduced to selling her own body to pay for her daughter1s fixes, Michele meets Paul, a lonely former dockworker who now drives a gypsy cab. The heroin is provided by Michele1s former boyfriend Gerard who runs a small bar but has a secret second life. We also meet Abderamane, a young North African, recently out of prison and now looking for a way to make his mark on the world. He begins an affair with his former music teacher, Viviane, who can no longer bear the hypocrisy of her womanizing, pseudo-liberal husband.

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Critic Reviews for The Town Is Quiet (La Ville est tranquille)

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (13)

For all of the apparent naturalness on screen, Guediguian's grim vision comes off as far too calculated.

Jul 20, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4

It's a strong viewing experience but definitely worth the effort.

Jun 20, 2002 | Rating: B | Full Review…

It's a pitiless film, uncompromising in what it shows us.

Feb 22, 2002 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Always, one gets the sense that this film is coming from some place real, and terrible.

Feb 16, 2002 | Full Review…

...the film's characters are familiar, real-life people, whose sadness reaches out from the screen.

Feb 15, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4

La ville est tranquille is not depressing, but a sense of sadness permeates the film. As dramatic as it is, Guediguian's point is well taken: this town will remain quiet.

Feb 1, 2002

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