Bryant’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am asking you once again to take a melange of unsympathetic characters and tell a labyrinthine story of crime and lies — oh, hi, Chabrol. I guess I didn’t really need to ask.
Cop au Vin has to get by on cleverness given how off-putting the characters are. On the whole it succeeds. It’s an inheritor of Hitchcock’s obsession with surveillance by way of 70s paranoid style. The opening sequence is framed through a still photographer’s lens, complete with the distortions of the range finder, reminding us that all perception is subjective. Clever indeed.
There’s a bit of a juxtaposition between Eros and Thanatos at the end, at least cinematically. Inspector Jean Lavardin, who enjoys his job somewhat too much, doesn’t particularly care about either as long as his understanding of events is complete. In the end, Chabrol thinks greed is the ruling drive.