Who is Henri Pick? Is it possible that a supposedly illiterate pizza cook wrote a bestseller? Or is it more plausible that it was cooked up by someone else? This and many other films currently grace our shores at the Alliance Française French Film Festival from 10 Mar to 19 Apr 2020 inclusive of special events. Pick your state and check the PROGRAM for a fantastic cinema night out with a good French Film.
Starring Fabrice Luchini, Camille Cottin, Alice Isaaz, Bastien Bouillon and Josiane Stoléru, this 101min drama is an Australian Premiere. Based on David Foenkinos's 2016 book of the same name, The Mystery of Henri Pick revolves around the film's enigmatic title character whose celebrated novel The Last Hours of a Love Story was discovered two years after his death. Not everyone is convinced of its authenticity, including influential literary critic Jean-Michel Rouche (Fabrice Luchini) who is on a mission to expose the truth.
When he attacks Pick's widow (Josiane Stoleru) on his television show, this Parisian snob is fired from his network, and troubles at home soon follows. Now he's even more intent on vindicating himself and he traces Pick's footsteps all the way to Brittany where he finds the daughter of the supposed author, Joséphine Pick (Camille Cottin) who is also a major bookworm. Though opposed at first, she ends up assisting Rouche in his search for the truth, as she assists him in navigating the secretive Breton landscape.
In style, the film smacks of an Agatha Christie 'ish mystery with twists and turns, sombre landscapes and false leads. There are many references to literary giants, though they were hardly necessary in the scheme of things as when the resolution arrives, a good old bit of detective work was all that was needed. An injection of humour didn't go wrong and it was interesting viewing to watch the relationship between Rouche and Joséphine Pick develop as they egg each other on every chance they get. Wish there had been more of this apparent alchemy between the two.
It's a sweet, watchable movie despite its weak and useless twists, and will no doubt provide some joyful moments of entertainment. Perhaps having the mystery remaining unsolved would have made for far more interesting viewing.