Le Petit Lieutenant | Chicago Reader

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Like the TV cop shows The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street, this French police drama focuses not on shoot-outs and car chases, but on the methodical, soul-killing business of running down leads. Nathalie Baye won a Cesar for her performance as a reformed alcoholic returning to the force as a chief inspector, and Jalil Lespert plays the young rookie she mentors as they try to figure out who tossed a Polish immigrant into a canal. The movie's realism is unimpeachable, though American cops might be stunned by the idea of a half-dozen detectives being assigned to the murder of an anonymous floater. Xavier Beauvois directed. In French with subtitles. 114 min.

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