BY GATHERING an illustrious trio of A-list French actors (Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi are all over-the-top, magnetic screen hogs when they want to be),
director Bruno Dumont guarantees watchability for the duration of this slapstick murder mystery.
We are in a seaside town in the summer of 1910 and an eccentric, dim-witted family of oddball aristos arrives for their annual séjour. Meanwhile, a rotund, feckless police inspector and his equally slow right-hand man are going about their bumbling investigations into a recent spate of disappearances, the latest of which took place on the sand dunes and left only a pair of spectacles for a clue. Like a law enforcement Laurel and Hardy, this pair even wear bowler hats.
The third group is the redneck, mussel-gathering Brufort clan, again not-all-there and with a sinister secret.
This grisly, black-humoured film might feature weird goofing around and even cannibalism and not always be funny funny, but it is enjoyable. The coastal scenery is lovingly depicted in lingering shots, while two off-spring of the snob/bumpkin families provide sweet sanity.