An audience favorite at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Le Havre finds legendary Finnish director Aki Kaurismaeki working in France for the first time in nearly twenty years. In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (Andre Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that mixes the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carne with wry Kaurismaekian comedy, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Does Kaurismaki believe in his own fairy tale? The movie, a humble delight, suggests the answer is yes.Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 11.03.2011
The Finnish director's sense of humor is dry and dark as pitch, as he consistently finds moments of absurdity in the midst of strife and tragedy.Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 11.10.2011
Kaurismaki wrote the script, I think, with secret credit from Mother Goose and some fabric softener.Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, 11.10.2011
We are so held by the film's impact that its ending, surprise or not, is like a bonus.Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic, 06.19.2013