Jean-Paul Salomé, the fellow who earlier gave us Belphégor - Le fantôme du Louvre and The Adventures of Arsène Lupin would come up with such a low-key charmer like the new PLAYING DEAD (Je fais le mort). As we've been told, many times, you never know. The U.S. distributor of this new French comedy/ mystery, First Run Features, distributes many more docu-mentaries than it does narrative movies. When it offers one of the latter, however -- from Nobody Else But You to Secret Things, What if...? to Special Treatment -- the film is worth seeing. As is FRF's newest arrival.
François Damiens (above) in the kind of role at which he excels: the very annoying, full-of-himself, and can't-seem-to-help-it provocateur. We've loved the surprisingly versatile M. Damiens in everything from The Wolberg Family to Heartbreaker and Delicacy, and here he comes through again as an out-of-work actor (he can't get jobs due to his abrasive personality) who proves smarter than he looks (or acts) while playing the corpse in a law enforcement murder reconstruction in which all is definitely not as it first appears.
Géraldine Nakache (below) as the judicial person in charge of the reconstruction, Lucien Jean-Baptiste (at left, two photos below) as the local police inspector, Anne Le Ny as the very interesting lady who owns the hotel where the reconstruction team is staying, Jean-Marie Winling as the only surviving member of the murder massacre, and Corentin Lobet (especially provocative and funny) as the tiny little fellow who is the supposed murderer.