Le Havre (image 1)

An endearing affair.,, both heartwarming and irreverent... Le Havre maintains a fresh balance that never falters.

Eric Kohn, indieWIRE

Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Le Havre 2011

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

This tender French comedy by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki was a huge hit at Cannes and winner of the Critics Prize. “Wonderful, big-hearted comedy… What a treat this film is.” — The Guardian

Finland / France / Germany In French with English subtitles
93 minutes

Director, Producer, Screenplay


Timo Salminen


Timo Linnasalo


André Wilms (Marcel Marx)
Kati Outinen (Arletty)
Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Monet)
Blondin Miguel (Idrissa)
Elina Salo (Claire)
Evelyne Didi (Yvette)
Quoc-dung Nguyen (Chang)
Laika (Laika)
François Monnié (grocer)
Roberto Piazza (Little Bob)
Pierre Étaix (Doctor Becker)
Jean-Pierre Léaud (denouncer)


Cannes (In Competition) 2011


International Critics Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2011


Our Centrepiece celebrates the comeback of a long-time Festival favourite. Aki Kaurismäki’s tender French comedy was a huge hit in competition at Cannes and winner of the International Critics Prize. — BG

“Some wonderful, big-hearted comedy was provided by the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki... Le Havre had all the master’s trademarked deadpan dialogue and delicious nuggets of bone-dry humour, and his compassion for the marginalised and dispossessed, but with something richer and sweeter than I remember from his previous pictures… Le Havre is shot in the French port town, with French actors and dialogue, though Kaurismäki’s repertory stalwart player Kati Outinen has a role. She plays the wife of Marcel (André Wilms), a dignified, stoic man who works as a shoeshiner on the streets. Marcel witnesses an illegal immigrant boy from Gabon, Idrissa (Blondin Miguel), escape from the police and sets out to help him. But a tough cop, Inspector Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), is on his trail, not to mention a mean-spirited local given to making anonymous denunciations.

Kaurismäki’s movie moves lightly but elegantly and quickly, like a little jockey on a powerful horse... Somehow, for all its comedy and absurdity, Le Havre addresses its theme with more persuasive confidence than many a grim social-realist picture… Kaurismäki is a master of making deadpan a subtle, expressive performance mode... What a treat this film is.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Finally Cannes delivers some real laughs! …Le Havre blithely portrays life as we might wish it to be, and that is the funniest irony of all.” — Barbara Scharres, Chicago Sun-Times