Archive of films The Newcomer / Betty Fisher et autres histoires

France / Canada
2001, 102 min

Section: Variety Critics´ Choice
Year: 2002

This brilliant film, which centres on the kidnapping of a small boy, is an unclassifiable mix of thriller, crazy comedy, drama and crossword puzzle, involving all sorts of characters. The compact script drives the plot forward with incredible force and, while it never offers more than carefully measured doses of information, it still soon manages to entirely engulf the audience.


Slowly morphing from the serious to the playful, and with a script that coaxes the viewer into an elaborately spun web of separate narrtaives, "The Newcomer" is a delicious, utterly confident jeu from one of France´s most discreetly maverick directors, Claude Miller. Pic emerges as an unclassifiable blend of psychological thriller, caper movie, comedy-drama and multi-character criss-crosser, as the kidnapping of a young boy sets off a complex train of events. Compact script moves with incredible forward momentum, never giving an iota more info than it wants and thoroughly involving the viewer in its rapidly spun web. Though some characters´ paths hardly cross, there´s a sense of broad ensemble in the performances, from Sandrine Kiberlain´s initially abstracted, later complicit Betty to Nicole Garcia´s initially agitated, later caring mother. Derek Elley

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Variety Critics´ Choice
Director: Claude Miller
Screenplay: Claude Miller, podle románu/based on the novel by Ruth Rendell
Dir. of Photography: Christophe Pollock
Music: Francois Dompierre
Editor: Véronique Lange
Producer: Annie Miller, Yves Marmion
Production: UGC, Les Films de la Boissiere, Go Films
Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Nicole Garcia, Mathilde Seigner, Edouard Baer, Luck Mervil, Roschdy Zem, Pascal Bonitizer, Stephana Freiss

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