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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Ariane Ascaride
Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Gerard Meylan.
Directors
Robert Guediguian.
Screenwriters
Robert Guediguian
Jean-Louis Milesi.
Running Time
132 minutes

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La Ville Est Tranquille
Robert Guediguian's drama with a storming performance from Ariane Ascaride, shows how modern life pushes people to extremes.


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Plot
How far should a mother's love stretch? For Michele (Ascaride), it means prostituting herself in order to score heroin for her junkie daughter.


Review
It's back to basics for Robert Guediguian after the wayward brilliance of A L'Attaque!, and the tactic pays off handsomely. Interweaving several stories with precision and compassion, he explores the worrying breakdown of community and civility in a supposedly multi-cultural society.

Giving another impeccable performance, Ascaride toils in a fish factory to fund her teenage daughter's cold turkey programme. To bump up her income she prostitutes herself to Darroussin, a lonely docker-turned-cabby. With drugs, violence and racism becoming casually everyday, this tinderbox town is anything but quiet. Through his insider's tour, Guediguian forces us to share in its tension and despair. Gruelling but compelling stuff.


Verdict
Firmly handled by director Robert Guediguian and with a storming performance from Ariane Ascaride, it shows how modern life pushes people to extremes.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

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