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Red Lights
Red Lights
Actors: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Deniard, Alain Dion, Olivier Fornara
Director: Cédric Kahn
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2005     1hr 45min

2004 Nominee Independent Spirit Award - Best Foreign Fim. It's a summer holiday weekend in Paris. Antoine (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), a timid insurance salesman, and his lawyer wife Hélène (Carole Bouquet) are off to the so...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Deniard, Alain Dion, Olivier Fornara
Director: Cédric Kahn
Creators: Patrick Blossier, Cédric Kahn, Françoise Galfré, Patrick Godeau, Georges Simenon, Gilles Marchand, Laurence Ferreira Barbosa
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Fox Lorber
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/22/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Gary J. (gjones) from TROUTDALE, OR
Reviewed on 1/29/2012...
Good thriller! Wasn't quite sure what was happening in the middle, so that part was pretty suspenseful. Then when the husband realized his wife was not where she was supposed to be, things really starting cooking and he made me feel his anxiety. The main character, the male lead, totally pissed me off for the entire movie, which tells me the actor is either a first-class a**hole or he did a great job. I'm going with the latter! His character redeemed himself at the end, which helped wrap things up nicely. Good movie, recommended, especially for those of you who, like me, like original story-lines from Europe (or wherever) that Hollywood hasn't ripped off yet, and you don't mind captions to watch them!

Movie Reviews

Great one for Hitchcock, Chabrol fans... good DVD transfer
dooby | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Originally titled, Feux Rouges, this 2004 mystery/suspense piece from Cedric Kahn will surely please fans of Hitchcock or Chabrol. After reading various reviews, my initial expectation was of a movie like George Sluizer's Spoorloos (aka The Vanishing) but this film has less of the latter's chilly horror. For one thing it ends on a more upbeat note. The movie's strengths lie in it's quiet build-up of suspense and the well sculpted interactions between husband and wife. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon (creator of Inspector Maigret), it tells the story of a constantly inebriated man who misplaces his wife while on a car journey to pick up their children from summer camp. He picks up a hitchhiker who may or may not be an escaped convict. He spends much of the rest of the movie trying to find out what happened to his wife. To tell more would be to spoil the fun.

The movie has been given a very good DVD transfer by Wellspring, in what looks like it's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (enhanced for widescreen TV). Black levels are nicely rendered which is very important because a large portion of the movie takes place along the roads at night. Colors are well presented and natural. Audio includes both dolby stereo and a 5.1 surround mix with good delivery of the music. I love especially the use of Debussy's Nuages to create both a dreamy as well as a slightly sinister effect when needed. Optional English subtitles are included. All in all a very good DVD and strongly recommended."
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 02/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Red Lights" (Feux Rouges) is a tightly written, expertly directed (by Cedric Kahn) thriller in the vein of "Frantic." But director Kahn, as adapted by a story by Georges Simenon, has more up his sleeve than a woman-in-distress mystery.
Antoine and Helene are pretty much fed up with each other when they set off by car to pick up their children from summer camp. Helene, a successful lawyer, despises Antoine's drinking and Antoine (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), a functionary in a large corporation, suspects Helene (a gorgeous Carole Bouquet) of having an affair. The mood is strained, palpably tense and barely civil when they begin their journey from Paris to the south of France. If only Antoine had listened to the traffic news as he stood at the bar having his first whiskey of the day: "Be Careful" intones the TV newsman.
The casting of Darroussin with his worn-in, put-upon face and barely controlled anger and the patrician, upper class, calm yet judging Bouquet is perfect. On the surface they seem so wrong for each other and yet the tension created by their odd pairing draws you to them: How did these two ever get together?
So much of the success of "Red Lights" has to do how well director Kahn succeeds at the creation of a disturbing and almost pathologically desperate mood. With Debussy's "Nuages" playing on the soundtrack, there are many times when you feel that you are watching a dream and that someone will wake up and things will go back to normal. No such luck.
"The devil is on vacation with you"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Red Lights is a strange, abstract, almost existential exercise in movie making. Adapted from the 1953 novel by Georges Simenon and set to Debussy's elegantly creepy Nuages, writer-director Cedric Kahn offers up movie with attributes of a Hitchcockian suspense thriller.

The feeling of foreboding begins immediately when we meet Antoine Dunant (Jean-Pierre Darroussin a low-level insurance executive. He's just leaving his job to meet his beautiful wife Hélène (Carole Bouquet) in a local café. They are planning to drive to the countryside from Paris to pick up their kids from summer camp.

But as soon as Antoine gets to the café he guzzles three beers back to back with one eye on the street lest his wife arrive before he's suitably fortified. It soon becomes pretty obvious that their marriage is far from happy - Antoine armed with enough drink to sink an elephant, settles into a manner of truculent impetuosity, while Helene remains detached, cold, and almost abusive.

While in the road, Helen discovers that her husband is utterly plastered. She hardly says anything as he weaves all over the road, but her silence speaks volumes. Thus starts a trip of barely controlled hostility with the husband clenching the wheel and brooding, while the wife fumes beside him. Both are so busy bickering with each other and thinking dark thoughts that they're half oblivious to news reports of an escaped convict on the loose nearby.

Antoine isn't usually a drinker, but something has snapped in him, and as the neon signs of the roadside bars start to beckon him, he becomes obsessed with downing as much cold beer and whisky as he can. He leaves Helene angrily waiting in the car while he goes into yet another bar, to prepare himself for the long night ahead.

Hélène, freaked by his increasing belligerence and inability to drive in a straight line, abandons her husband to look for a train station. Meanwhile Antoine strikes up a conversation with a reserved one-armed stranger (Vincent Deniard).

When, minutes later, the stranger steps out of the parking-lot shadows, his face half hidden by the hood of a sweatshirt, and asks for a ride, the cocky, staggering Antoine doesn't even break stride. By now he's so sweaty and drunk that he waves the fellow right into the car.

What follows is detour into a night of terror for Antoine, Helene, and for the viewer. The movie starts to resemble everyone's nightmare - the inexplicable disappearance of a loved one. And as Antoine embarks on a desperate journey to track his wife down, it soon becomes clear that Red Lights is really showing us a portrait of a marriage, a marriage that has been enigmatically hanging by a thread.

Their need to see the children again is probably just a way of distracting them from the aridness of their relationship. She's beautiful and accomplished, while he plain and dull. Somehow the couple began their marriage as equals, but she soon eclipsed him, for which he can't forgive her. Other than this, Kahn provides very little reason as to why their relationship has suddenly gone sour.

What Kahn does provide, however, is the knowledge that marriage can often dissipate completely, leave two strangers in a car, totally sick of each other, in desperate need of a reviving shock to the system. But when the sun finally rises, and Antoine is released from his drunken hell, Kahn does provide a dash of hope for the couple.

In the end, Red Lights is showing that relationships are frail and that the machinations of marriage are often inexplicable. And if nothing else, Antoine and Helen show that it can all dramatically and irrevocably change and fall apart in a searing flash of red light. Mike Leonard September 05.