Character study's rewards are as elusive as the jackpot allegedly waiting in a minimally guarded warehouse.

With all the dignity of a drowning man, a father undeserving of respect cajoles his son into a presumed big score in “In Your Wake.” When the long-absent dad tells his honest, taciturn boy “Just say stop if you don’t want to go through with this,” any normally constituted viewer will be subvocalizing “Uh, stop” — but train wreck of reluctant filial piety keeps chugging along anyway. Thoughtful widescreen lensing conveys dead-end urban isolation and thesps are fine, but character study’s rewards are as elusive as the jackpot allegedly waiting in a minimally guarded warehouse on the periphery of Paris.

Boasting the parenting skills of a guppy, Gabriel (Jacques Gamblin) seems to have modeled his sense of personal responsibility after Robert De Niro’s screw-up in “Mean Streets.” Son Marco (Nicolas Giraud), a dishwasher in a hotel restaurant, leads a simple but honorable existence. Charismatic Gabriel, whose major occupation is wearing a leather jacket, drafts Marco to tail a night watchman (Jacques Spiesser) in order to reclaim money he says he’s owed.   Awash in extreme close-ups, elliptical run-up to the heist is majestically tedious and denouement predictable.

In Your Wake

France

Production

A Pyramide Distribution release of a Kaleo Films, Rhone-Alpes Cinema production. (International sales: Pyramide Int'l, Paris). Produced by Olivier Charvet. Directed by David Oelhoffen. Screenplay, David Oelhoffen, Antoine Lacomblez;

Crew

camera (color, widescreen), Lubomir Bakchev; editor, Sophie Bousquet-Foures; production designer, Philippe Jacob. Reviewed at Cinematheque Francaise, Paris,            May 9, 2007. (In Cannes Film Festival --  Critics Week.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Nicolas Giraud, Jacques Gamblin, Gerald Laroche, Jacques Spiesser, Marie Denarnaud, Jacques Spiesser, Marie Denarnaud

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