In this very insightful movie, Monsieur Batignole is a Paris butcher who, through sheer oafishness, unintentionally helps turn his Jewish neighbours over to the Nazis. When the neighbours' son escapes and winds up on his doorstep, Batignole (Jugnot) becomes his reluctant protector, overcoming his own weakness and complacency in the process. The script is funny and deft, the characters satisfyingly complex, and the performances are bang-on -- particularly Jules Sitruk's turn as the spoiled, clever fugitive. The film's greatest strength, though, is its believable depiction of a society's moral disintegration, how easily people comply with evil when it's in authority, and how resistance can emerge as the sum of a series of seemingly trivial decisions. 100 minutes.
Monsieur Batignole (Gérard Jugnot) Rating: NNNN