Inspecteur Lavardin | Chicago Reader

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In Claude Chabrol's 1986 French detective film, the title character travels to a village to investigate the murder of a local luminary, only to discover that the man's widow is his former lover. The characters are interesting enough, pursuing self-centered activities that, typically for Chabrol, seem parodies of bourgeois behavior (the widow's brother spends his time making painted sculptures of eyeballs). There are also some wonderfully characteristic images—the widow first appears behind glass, her face rendered at once more vivid and more distant, and an overhead shot of the murder scene lays out the geography while distancing us from the characters—but such moments are too few, and often Chabrol seems to be going through the motions. In French with subtitles. 100 min.

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