An optimistic fairytale about a selfish old man who betters his life by helping a young African refugee. Heartwarming and drily comic scenes in the French port of Le Havre was the Finnish submission for the Oscars.
While his Finnish wife is in hospital, the selfish old shoeshine Marcel Marx living in the French port of Le Havre, takes an interest in an African kid who was in a container on his way to his mother in London when the immigration service caught up with him. The hand of the master is immediately apparent in Aki Kaurismäki’s touching, comforting and wryly comic drama Le Havre. With meticulously framed long shots and the sparse, slightly absurd dialogues, and thanks to his characteristic bitter humour and the special characters, played by Kaurismäki regulars such as André Wilms and Kati Outinen. At the Cannes Festival last year, this stylish, mildly committed film won the FIPRESCI Award, the prize of the international film critics. Laïka, Kaurismäki’s dog, received a special mention from the Palm Dog jury.