I went to see this for Denis Lavant’s face. He’s up there with Kinski in my book in terms of a poetic cinematic visage. Anything he’s in is worth watching based on this virtue alone.
Good directors know how to work with this and can make the movie be very rewarding. But unfortunately, there is nothing special here. The focus is on the character and the story. So we have a series of medium shots all throughout. This is a sad shame. He seems to know this. He locks his jaw with less vigor, and there is no pursing of the lips.
Notice the way he looks when in jeans. Lavant is the only 40-something man who can pull this off. I believe it’s a posture problem. He has the frame of a 15 year old, but his mannerisms are those of an adult. Carax worked with this by making him wear those tattered baggy pants.
Lavant apart, this is a very good example of how not to make a movie. It lacks form. It might as well have remained the newspaper clipping it was inspired by. In fact, it seems like they took the journalistic approach: factual and logical. Not cinema.
Also, they quote his limp from _Lovers On the Bridge_ here, for the finale. Cheap shot. But it made me very happy.