Garde a vue | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Garde a vue

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Investigating the rape-murders of two little girls, a weathered police inspector (Lino Ventura) summons a prickly attorney (Michel Serrault) to police headquarters on a rainy New Year's Eve, and the prolonged interrogation that follows ultimately forces both men to see themselves in a colder light. Based on a novel by John Wainwright (and remade in 2000 as Under Suspicion), this tightly paced 1981 French drama provides a fine showcase for Ventura and Serrault, who won a Cesar for his performance. The neatly constructed script emphasizes the psychological struggle between the characters, and like the much-lauded TV series Homicide: Life on the Street it lays bare one of the more insidious tactics of the professional inquisitor: breaking down the suspect's sense of self-worth so completely that he yearns to be punished. 87 min. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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