Le Havre (2011)

Feature Film | Drama | France/Denmark/Finland/Germany | French | 1h33m
Dir: Aki Kaurismäki | Scr: Aki Kaurismäki | Ph: Timo Salminen | Prod: Aki Kaurismäki | Ed: Timo Linnasalo | PD: Wouter Zoon | Snd: Tero Malmberg | Cast: André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel, Elina Salo, Evelyne Didi, Quoc-Dung Nguyen, Laïka, François Monnié, Roberto Piazza aka Little Bob, Pierre Étaix

Whilst his wife (unbeknownst to him) slowly dies of cancer, a compassionate shoeshiner, aided by a number of other kindly souls from his portside neighbourhood, determines to help a young illegal immigrant avoid the authorities and reach his mother in London, in Kaurismäki’s atypically warm and hopeful French drama. Precise, symbolically rich mise en scène, painterly photography, and a quietly affecting central performance combine to quite sublime effect.