From the director of Marius and Jeanette comes a dark and insightful tale of working-class life in Marseilles. The films depicts Marseilles as a city in crisis and utilises a large cast of intersecting characters featuring Ariane Ascaride as a hard-bitten but compassionate fish market worker with a drug addicted daughter, and Gerard Maylan as a moody bartender with a shocking secret life.
 

4.5
A superb multi-stranded film with an alarming insights and passion.

Guediguian weaves together a number of stories in the film. Firstly there`s Michelle, played by Guediguian`s wife Ariane Ascaride. She packs fish at night and comes home to her heroin addicted daughter Fiona, Julie Marie Parmentier, her illegitimate granddaughter Ameline and her unemployed drunken husband whose been laid off at the docks. Then there`s Paul, another former dock employee who drives cabs and tells his left-wing parents fantasies each Sunday when he goes for lunch. And Vivianne, Christine Brucher, teaches music to special needs children and helps in prison workshops. She forms an unlikely relationship with an Algerian, Alexandre Ogou - who is fighting prejudice within his community his own way.

Guedigian moves seamlessly between the stories of these characters as they obliquely touch one another. This film addresses big issues, particularly in today`s world, of how hard it is for communities which are tearing themselves apart from within to resist extreme right politics. But Guediguian achieves such integrity for his characters, that the issues he raises emerge naturally from their stories. He`s served splendidly by an ensemble cast. It`s a tough film, a harsh one, relieved occasionally by moments of kindness, of joy. But it has one of the most moving climaxes I can remember, it just soars. Guediguian has been making good films for years, but this is a great one.