Produced by Celine Maugis.
Directed by Antoine Desrosieres. Screenplay, Philippe Barassat, Desrosieres, Gwennola Bothorel. Camera (B&W/color), George Lechaptois; editor, Nicolas Le Du; music, Dominique A. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Feb. 5, 2000. Original title: Banqueroute. Running time: 75 MIN.
With: Mathieu Demy, Gwennola Bothorel, Zinedine Soualem, Antoine Chappey, Howard Vernon.
Opposites are flung together by fate in “Bankrupt,” a darkly comic road movie about an abandoned pregnant woman and an unscrupulous stockbroker on the run after breaking the bank. Director Antoine Desrosieres began shooting in 1995, improvising with actors who created their own characters. Dissatisfied with the chaotic results, he re-shot from scratch with a script. Final deal is an ambling affair, not without occasional charms but more than a little mannered in its studied, nouvelle vague sensibility, making it a marginal fest item at best.
A coke-snorting, woman-hating shark who lives by a no-love-no-ties credo, Nicolas (Mathieu Demy) encounters sweetly eccentric Charlotte (Gwennola Bothorel) as he flees the city with no firm destination. Recognizing him from news reports, Charlotte directs him to Biarritz, where she plans to turn him in for the reward and hook up with her ex-lover, a cop she hopes will be father to her child. Nicolas’ inevitable humanization under Charlotte’s influence is a little too immediate to be credible, with his sudden love for her unearthing buried childhood memories, the only color seg in the B&W pic.