Les Convoyeurs attendent
Screen Time: 75%
Age: 8 years old
Les Convoyeurs attendent
Directed: Benoît Mariage
Country: Belgium, France
Genre: Comedy, Drama
In Les Convoyeurs Attendent/The Carriers Are Waiting, Roger Closset (Benoit Poelvoorde) is a man who obviously loves his family, though that doesn't always make them feel better. Dad is an obsessive type with a short fuse and a long list of curious ideas, and his wife and children must often bear the brunt of his eccentricities. Roger works as a reporter, a job he doesn't like which doesn't pay especially well, either. One day, Roger learns an area business association is sponsoring a contest for a family that can break a world record, with the grand prize being a new car. Suddenly, Roger gets a brainstorm -- if his son can open and shut a door 40,000 times in 24 hours, the car will be theirs. 15-year-old Michel (Jean-Francois Devigne), however, is not at all happy to have been drafted into this new responsibility, especially when dad builds a practice door in the backyard and finds a trainer to teach Michel how to open and close it with greatest efficiency.
The plot also involves his young daughter Luise (the very pretty Morgane Simon), and Felix (Phillipe Grand'Henry), the successful and reclusive pigeon fancier next door who she idolises.
Shot in crisp black and white the cinematography brings a stark bleakness to the Belgian cityscapes and the sometimes bleaker events that take place therein.
The script is witty and affecting, quirky and impressive, and the performances are spot on, especially from Poelvoorde, Simon and Grand'Henry.
Movie ReviewsThe Carriers Are Waiting, the feature debut of Belgian documentarist Benot Mariage, is a strange, sad comedy about a pathetic photo-journalist (Benot Poelvoorde) working for a paper ironically called L'Espoir (hope) in a declining mining town and determined to change his life. His ludicrous plans to win a car depend on his teenage son getting into the Guinness Book of Records for opening and closing a door the most times in 24 hours. The dreamy, unemployed lad would rather achieve fame as a Presley impersonator and expert on movie continuity errors for a local radio station, and Dad's plans go tragically awry.
All is told from the perspective of the angelic young daughter, who seems to be a stoical witness of the events, at the same time bringing innocence and colour to the story. This monochrome picture is inventive and visually striking (there's a fantastic image of thousands of racing pigeons being released from a railway siding), but it's more painful than funny. A genuine curiosity.