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Slack Bay
(Ma Loute)

Bruno Dumont

Auteur Bruno Dumont is probably best known on this side of the pond for his uncompromising films about life in Northern France. But recently, his filmmaking has changed tack, and broad comedy (still tinged with darkness) has become the order of the day. Following up his television mini-series P’tit Quinquin comes Slack Bay, a macabre comedy with a terrific ensemble cast.

"A macabre comedy with a terrific ensemble cast..."

Returning to his home patch, the French coast near Calais, Dumont’s film mixes topics such as cannibalism and class divisions in a Monty Python-esque extravaganza. It is the summer of 1910 and the posh Van Peteghems including Monsieur (Fabrice Luchini), Madame (Valeria Bruni Tadeschi), sister-in law Aude (Juliette Binoche) and her prodigy Billie (Raph), have pitched up at the family villa for the holidays. Their paths unexpectedly cross with the Bruforts, a local fishing family which includes skipper dad (Thierry Lavieville) and son Ma Loute (Brandon Lavieville) who turn out to enjoy a bit of flesh eating on the side. Into this mix are thrown two bumbling policemen, who are investigating a series of mysterious local disappearances.

If it all sounds a bit bonkers, that’s because it is. But the joy of Slack Bay, outside the stunning seascapes, is watching this troupe of usually very serious thespians throw themselves into these madcap roles with gusto and joie de vivre.