OUTSIDE THE BOX: Le
Le Placard (2001)
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu
Directed by: Francis Veber
The stress of academics can potentially lead you straight to alcohol or
Sure, the former is tempting, but indulging yourself in a little French
comedy may help you overcome these stressful times, while reducing harm
to your wallet, liver and level of self-respect.
Sexuality, condoms and discovery lie at the heart of the comedic French
film Le Placard (The Closet). Director Francis Veber
skillfully produces a simultaneously light-hearted and thought-provoking
film which follows the transformation of Francois Pignon (Daniel Auteuil)
from a depressive to jubilant character.
Pignon finds himself wound up in a simple lie that snowballs into an elaborate
scheme to secure his job. And what does the entire scheme stem from? A
few anonymous photos depicting Pignon's sexual preference.
It wouldn't be a French film without the appearance of the boisterous
Gerard Depardieu as Felix Santini. Depardieu naturally provides ceaseless
entertainment, as he plays the role of a brutish homophobe, who strangely
taps into his sensitive side and develops strong feelings for his overtly
He takes him to a fancy lunch, shares stories of men getting "steamed
up" in the locker room and even purchases a pink cashmere sweater
to reveal that he's simply smitten.
Le Placard discloses how a simple change or a single person can
completely alter your life. The film also manages to maintain a serious
underlying tone, as it reveals how society has evolved in its acceptance
of various lifestyles.
If reading through subtitles isn't your idea of a treat, suck it up, because
this movie will be well worth the effort.