Dir. Claude Sautet, 1971, France. 112 min. Color 35 mm
With Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, François Périer
In French with English subtitles
Frustrated by a gang of robbers he has failed to catch time and time, the aloof Parisian detective Max (Michel Piccoli) decides to save face by enlisting an old acquaintance to entice the petty thieves into robbing a bank. Max poses as a rich banker and lures the lead criminal’s girlfriend, Lilly (Romy Schneider), with promises of enormous amounts of cash. The gang of thieves takes the bait, unaware that the cops are lying in wait for them. But as Max’s plan comes to fruition, he realizes that he hasn’t fully considered all of its consequences.
“Critic’s Choice: a cop-and-robbers gem from France.” — Kenneth Turan, LA Times
“Max’s cold, single-minded determination is undermined only by Mr. Piccoli’s soft brown eyes, which communicate unspoken and enigmatic hurts. This remarkable actor (…) is one of the treasures of European cinema.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Video: Introduction by Nicholas Bell
He is the Chief Film Critic at Ioncinema, providing coverage on weekly theatrical releases, including interviews, and awards items.
He provides annual coverage on major film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and the Toronto International Film Festival, among others. A graduate of Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN, with departmental honors awarded for his research on Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1959 adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer, his cinematic interests revolve around representations of race, gender, and LGBTQ+, themes in mainstream and independent film. His screenplay Personal Trainer is being developed to shoot in Serbia in 2022, starring Fanny Ardant, Haaz Sleiman, Adam Davenport and Omar Sharif Jr., directed by Stephen Riscica. Nicholas Bell resides in Los Angeles, California.