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OSS 117 Cairo Nest of Spies Couple Jean Dujardin Philippe Lefebvre Aure Atika Bérénice Bejo François Damiens Richard Sammel Khalid Maadour Laurent Bateau Éric Prat Claude Brosset

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies – a send up of 50s/60s spy movies centered on a French secret agent, who travels to Cairo to find out who killed his colleague. The brightest star of this is 117, the dim-witted spy (based on the Connery era Bond) who’s played superbly as a likable idiot by Jean Dujardin. He pulls off all of the jokes, centered around the chauvinism, cultural stereotyping and stupidity of ‘classic’ spy films. The riffs about Islam feel a bit risqué given what’s happened in the 10 years since this was made, but like Mel Brooks or Zucker Brothers films, the jokes are too surreal and innocent to take too much offence from – like the running gags about veal stew, flashbacks, and noisy chickens. The entire film looks and feels authentically 1960s, with very basic camera movements, a lovely ‘technicolour’ palette, and retro effects; matched with cracking kitsch sets, props, and costumes. As a comedy, this is sold: I chortled constantly through the first hour, and although it runs a tad flatter in the last 30 mins or so, it’s still more than entertaining enough. No doubt this plays better to French people, who will catch a lot of the ‘throwaway’ stuff; but still, OSS 117 Cairo, Nest of Spies is a delight to watch, expertly pairing both silly and smart gags, making it a must-see for Bond and Spy fans; particularly of things like The Naked Gun, Austin Powers, Danger 5, Pink Panther, Top Secret!, etc, etc

Score: 7/10

OSS 117 Cairo Nest of Spies Dusty Car Jean Dujardin Philippe Lefebvre Aure Atika Bérénice Bejo François Damiens Richard Sammel Khalid Maadour Laurent Bateau Éric Prat Claude BrossetOSS 117 Cairo Nest of Spies Tied to bed Jean Dujardin Philippe Lefebvre Aure Atika Bérénice Bejo François Damiens Richard Sammel Khalid Maadour Laurent Bateau Éric Prat Claude BrossetOSS 117 Cairo Nest of Spies Tied Up Jean Dujardin Philippe Lefebvre Aure Atika Bérénice Bejo François Damiens Richard Sammel Khalid Maadour Laurent Bateau Éric Prat Claude Brosset


City of God: documents around a decade of life in a Rio De Janeiro favela (slum). It starts with 30 minutes of back story then dips in and out of flashback for the rest of the movie. To emphasise the violence in the hood the film’s pretty brutal in parts – ‘hand or foot’ and Knockout Ned scenes are particularly rough. Unfortunately, what’s supposed to be the film’s most crucial scene (in the nightclub) was ruined by strobing lights. For me, the main guy Rocket is a too easy-going: he never really seems to care much about losing his girl, then his job, then some family – and doesn’t want revenge. It’s probably about 20 minutes too long too. The overall message is that everyone, from respectable citizens through to the tiny children, ends up being pulled into the self-destructive criminal / gang lifestyle – and it’s hammered home through pretty much every character’s story progression. The critics said that Slumdog was better than this… and they must have been high. City of God is a well-told, pretty slick, cinematic epic that’s often called ‘the Brazilian Goodfellas‘ (bold statement). It’s definitely a must-see for fans of crime and world cinema.

Score: 8/10

Also, if you liked this the same director went on to do Blindness – well worth checking out.