Year: 2002
USA: Magnolia Pictures Distribution
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Dominique Blanc, Gilbert Melki, Ornella Muti, Catherine Frot, François Morel, Lucas Belvaux, Bernard Mazzinghi, Patrick Descamps, Olivier Darimont, Alexis Tomassian, Yves Claessens, Pierre Gerard, Christine Henkart, Jean-Henri Roger, Marc Bordure, Sophie Cattani, Vincent Depeyra, Eric Vassard, Raphaële Godin, Jean-Baptiste Montagut, Anne Delol, Vincent Gardinier, Zirek, Thomas Badek, Yvon Davis, Bourlem Guerdjou
Director: Lucas Belvaux
Countries: France / Belgium
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 123 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, drug use and violence
USA Release Date: 13 February 2004 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 5 December 2003


THE TRILOGY - Introduction

Let's envisage our respective lives as films.

Each of us is the main character, surrounded by people more or less close to us who are themselves the main characters of their lives and for whom we play more or less secondary roles. If we are the starting point, the centre of the world or of the film, by concentric circles (those closest to us, close friends, friends, acquaintances, and so on) we reach the ring of people we only encounter once in a lifetime, of whom we know nothing and who know nothing about us because in their lives (their film) we are only extras.

The three films work on this principle of cross encounters. The main characters in one film have minor roles in the others and vice versa.

Three films, three genres, three genre films

The films form a whole but can be seen independently. Although they share sets, scenes and characters, they are "genetically" different. The first is a thriller, the second in comedy and the third a melodrama.

Fear, laughter, and tears. They are genre films.

- Lucas Belvaux


Pascal Manise (Gilbert Melki) is a cop in Grenoble. He has no scruples. He went by the board a long time ago because Agnes (Dominique Blanc), the women he loves, has a problem: she's addicted to morphine. She was already on drugs when they first met. Pascal couldn't stop her. The only thing he could do was spare her from decline, from the squalid side, from death on credit. Pascal has an agreement with a dealer, Jaquillat (Patrick Descamps), who supplies him with morphine in exchange for Pascal's blindness to certain goings on. Thanks to this, Agnes has been able to carry on working and living an almost normal life.

Almost, because they have built a barrier between their perspective worlds they never go out together. Pascal doesn't know Agnes' friends and colleagues and she doesn't know his. Until the day she introduces him to her friend, Ceclie (Ornella Muti), who is having problems with Alain (François Morel), her husband.

As he investigates Alain, Pascal becomes increasingly close to Ceclie until, inevitably, he falls in love with her. Ceclie doesn't even realise. She still loves Alain as much as she did the day they first met. If Pascal wants to seduce her, he'll have to begin by destroying their relationship. But to be loved, he has to love himself, and Pascal doesn't love himself at all. He's made too many compromises and done too many dodgy deals.

Bruno le Roux (Lucas Belvaux), a prisoner on the run, could be a way for him to restore his image, at least in his own eyes. Jaquillat wants Le Roux too. He wants to hide. He asks Pascal to murder Le Roux. Pascal refuses, so Jaquillat cuts off his wife's morphine supply.

For the first time, Agnes can't get a fix. She has to go and find her drugs herself. All the dealers know who she is and none of them will supply her. She accosts one, who beats her up on the street. It's a pitiful sight. More than the guy standing in the shadows can bear to watch. He comes to her aid. It is le Roux.