Friday, June 8, 2018

DVDebut: Christophe Barratier's powerhouse, French-financial-crisis film, THE OUTSIDER

Having seen and enjoyed Christophe Barratier's three previous films -- The Chorus, Paris 36 and yet another War of the Buttons remake -- TrustMovies was anxious to see what this nostalgia-dipped filmmaker has been up to of late. Interestingly, his current film, THE OUTSIDER, is also his least nostalgic (unless you count the financial crisis of the decade past as a piece of nostalgia) and may very well be his best movie yet.

As co-adapted (with Laurent Turner) and directed by Barratier (shown below), from the memoir by Jérôme Kerviel -- the trader involved and responsible (with the help, of course, of his bosses) for what happend at one of France's larges and most "reputable" banks -- the movie is both crackerjack entertainment and yet another indictment of the world's financial establishment.

What Barratier, his cast and crew capture particularly well is the atmosphere of the trading room -- this is as good as I've seen; better, in fact, that the overblown and so-pleased-with-itself version Scorsese gave us in The Wolf of Wall Street and certainly on a par with The Big Short. Because the movie is based on Kerviel's story, as told by him, we of course get a biased viewpoint, and yet the filmmaker and his star, the excellent and increasingly versatile Arthur Dupont, (of One to AnotherBus Palladium and Haute Cuisine) show us both the relatively innocent young man who begins the tale and the hotshot, semi-sleazebag he eventually becomes.

Dupont's fine performance (the actor is shown above and below, left) also allows us to view the incremental changes in Kerviel as he moves along his path. This fellow was less a crook than a very good trader, as well as a smart, intuitive man.

The supporting cast is made up of some excellent actors, too, especially François-Xavier Demaison (above, right) who plays Kerviel's initial boss -- a fellow who is smart, nasty, smarmy, and just full of Jesus allusions. This is a terrific, award-calibre performance.

Romance is provided by the attractive and feisty Sabrina Ouazani (above, left), as the young IT woman Kerviel falls for, while Thomas Coumans (above, right) portrays Mathieu, his best friend at the bank, a man who tries to keep our would-be hero on the straight-and-narrow.

We get a taste of Kerviel's family life, too, as well as some of his extra-curricular activities (below) but mostly we see him turn from a quick-study innocent into a force of nature so far as trading is concerned. And when the shit finally hits the fan, we see in action the much-vaunted "team spirit" (that doubles as the movie's aka title), as team mates, and especially the bank's bosses, run for cover.

The Outsider is yet another necessary lesson in why the world's financial sector so desperately needs those very regulations that seem to be currently disappearing -- perhaps for good.

From Distrib Films US, reaching DVD via Icarus Film Home Video, the movie hit the street this past Tuesday, June 5 -- for purchase and/or rental.

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