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Film Review: Maigret

Director:      Patrice Leconte

Cast:    Gérard Depardieu, Aurore Clément, Mélanie Bernier, Jade Labeste, Clara Antoons, André Wilms

Rating:       M

Running Time:       89

Australian Distributor:      Palace Films

Based on the novel by Simenon, Maigret and the Young Dead, published in 1954, MAIGRET is the new film by Patrice Leconte.  Many times adapted to cinema and television, the famous curator of George Simenon’s novels has known many interpreters from Jean Richard to Bruno Crémer via Richard Harris or Sergio Castellitto.

Leconte chose to entrust the role to a sacred monster of French cinema: Gérard Depardieu (it seems that it was Daniel Auteuil who had first been approached for the role). Perfect in the role of Maigret, he does not overdo it and slips into the trench coat of the Parisian superintendent, rendering rather well the quiet strength of the character. The sets are neat, the dialogues are used wisely and are rather well put together.   

Leconte’s staging is sober without being simplistic and perfectly supports the work of the actors and particularly that of Depardieu. It remains modern for a film whose story is rooted in the 1950s. It is also worth noting the care given to the decorations and to a slightly sepia photograph which reinforces this little “fifties” side.  In the end, this MAIGRET is an excellent surprise, especially since the bet to revive Jules Maigret in 2022 was not necessarily won!


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