Loose Cannons (2010)

Directed and written by Ferzan Ozpeteck.

I’m the kind of saddo that watches most of his programmes on BBC 4. I started with Wallander and became something of a Wallander junkie. I even watched the British attempts. Then there was the twenty hours of The Killing. Yeh, I was transfixed by every episode. The only thing that could run it close is the recent episodes of The Accused (on BBC 1) which have been the best thing on telly this year. Last week’s foreign film (on BBC 4) was from France, ‘Heartbreaker’ (2010) starring Romain Duriss and Vanessa Paradis, which was classified as a romantic comedy. Anything bracketed in this way is usually completely rubbish, as if whoever is selling it tries to cover all boundaries. My memories of Paradis stretch back to ‘Joe le Taxi’, adverts in birdcages, and hanging off the arm of some male star. (She recently split from Johnny Depp.) Here she was the co-star, and she was good, but what struck me was she wasn’t particularly attractive. Her allure is stardom, not beauty. Nicole Grimaudo’s allure in the masterpiece ‘Loose Cannons’ is the faun like beauty of an early Catherine Zeta Jones. The tragedy is her unrequited love for the younger of the two homosexual brothers who find themselves running their dad’s pasta processing factory and, in turn, having their life run and ruined by a domineering father and family loyalties. ‘Heartbreaker’ is a first division romantic comedy, quite good and it has its moments. ‘Loose Cannons’ is the Barcelona of a film, there are no weak links, the script is superb, the acting wonderful and they have all the beauty in the world in the bank. Superb.