Tag Archives: Patrick Dewaere

Coup de tete (1979)

coup de tete

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 6 out of 10

4-Word Review: Soccer player gets revenge.

Francois (Patrick Dewaere) plays soccer (football) for the local amateur team in the French town where he lives. One day, while the rich owner of the team (Jean Bouise) watches, Francois has a physical altercation with the team’s star player Berthier (Patrick Floersheim), which immediately gets the owner and the rest of his teammates to turn on him. Not only does Francois get kicked off the squad, but he loses his factory job too. Francois then gets accused of rape in a crime that was actually committed by Berthier, but the police manipulate the evidence so Francois goes to jail instead. It’s only later when the team bus gets into an accident that Francois is released from prison so he can help them win, which he does, but he also has a very creative plan that he enacts on those who wronged him.

After directing the highly successful Black and White in Color, which won the Academy Award for best foreign film for 1976, director Jean-Jacques Annaud decided to take another stab at social satire. For the most part the film works well and is filled with a lot of intriguing elements. The best part is the way it pokes fun at the fans, who are just regular people that become so obsessed with their team winning that they lose sight of everything else that is important while clinging to the misguided notion that if their team achieves victory then that will somehow make up for all of life’s other transgressions.

Dewaere excels in his usual outsider role and watching him climb up some precarious apartment building walls and at one point even pull his way up a scaffold in his effort to visit his lady friends is entertaining in itself. Dorothee Jemma is attractive as the woman who initially accuses him of rape then retracts it and the side-story dealing with the quirky romance that ensues between them is enjoyable and better than the main one.

However, like with Annaud’s first film, I didn’t find this to be quite as entertaining as all the other critics seemed to. There are certainly some amusing moments and the script by Francis Veber is highly unpredictable, but in the end it doesn’t pack the intended punch. I think the main reason for this is the fact that the townspeople who screw Francois over are just too one-dimensional. They behave like unbridled jerks without ever realizing how hypocritical they really are, which makes their ultimate comeuppance not as satisfying because I could never believe that they were real people and instead just poorly crafted caricatures.

Alternate Title: Hothead (American reissue)

My Rating: 6 out of 10

Released: February 14, 1979

Runtime: 1Hour 29Minutes

Not Rated

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Studio: Gaumont International

Available: VHS (Dubbed), DVD (Region 2), Blu-ray (Multi-region) (Subtitled)

Heat of Desire (1981)

heat of desire

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review: Obsessed over a woman.

Serge (Patrick Dewaere) is a college professor ready to take his wife Nicole (Nicole Jamet) to Barcelona for a second honeymoon when he meets the mysterious and beautiful Caroline (Clio Goldsmith). Immediately there is an attraction and Serge instantly leaves his shocked wife for her. The two share a strange relationship as Caroline pulls all the strings with Serge constantly crawling after her. As he loses his job, friends, reputation and finances he continues to obsess over her even as it eventually puts his life on the line.

The film has potential. I liked the idea of this intelligent man acting very unintelligently simply because of a beautiful woman, which happens much more often than one might realize. Seeing his successful life devolve into shreds is actually kind of funny and amusing. Unfortunately the script is not fleshed out and seems like a rough draft that is poorly thought out and badly in need of revisions. Everything happens much too fast without any backstory to the characters given. We have no understanding to the Serge character and the actions and behaviors of Caroline are quite bizarre without any explanation given for why she is that way. I found myself put-off by it and unable to get into it at all.

The film does have a few amusing moments. I enjoyed Serge’s attempts at giving a lecture to a roomful of college students about a book that he had actually not read. The makeshift fort that Caroline makes out of some furniture and blankets inside a hotel room is cool and Serge’s standoff with another man inside a urinal is funny as well. Unfortunately writer/director Luc Beraud doesn’t take these scenes to their full potential leaving the viewer with a small chuckle or two instead of all out laughter.

Dewaere gives a solid performance in one of his last roles before is untimely death by suicide just a year later. Goldsmith is attractive, but her nude scenes don’t mean much since they are all done in the dark and the shadowy lighting doesn’t allow the viewer to see much of her figure. Jeanne Moreau is terrific as Caroline’s mother who pimps her own daughter out to clients and then even herself.

The ending like the beginning is a disappointment and leads to a lot of nothing. The viewer is left with no conclusion to anything and the badly disjointed narrative makes this potentially explosive idea a big misfire.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Alternate Title: Plein sud

Released: April 29, 1981

Runtime: 1Hour 31Minutes

Rated R

Director: Luc Beraud

Studio: Gaumont

Available: VHS