Le Havre ★★★

I'm way behind on this year's DVD Talk Criterion Challenge; hell, I'm even behind on writing up my Letterboxd diary entries for the handful of movies I've managed to squeeze in before month's end. Consequently, these diary entries are likely to be more cursory than I typically prefer.

This is one of those movies that's predictable and pat all the way through, but is so earnest that saying so feels unkind. I found myself thinking of a point made in Sullivan's Travels, about how vulgar it is for the affluent to play at poverty. I feel similarly about the subject here of refugees trying to reach a safer place and going through untold horrors along the way. Le Havre is built on the story of a young boy making that journey, but it has all the heft of an Amélie knockoff. It just feels wrong, no matter how genuinely likable its characters.

If anything, that's another of its shortcomings. There are no actual villains here, aside from nameless pursuers. Everyone is altruistic, right down to Little Bob, who somehow throws together a charity concert overnight complete with promotional posters, a venue, gear, etc., and with a band that seemingly hasn't played together in awhile. It's so ludicrous to believe such a thing even could be pulled off so easily, much less that it would be, that it took me entirely out of the movie. Hell, even Wayne's World 2 got that right.

How Le Havre Entered My Flickchart

Le Havre < What About Bob? → #1691
Le Havre > Young Mr. Lincoln → #1275
Le Havre > Crash (2004) → #1063
Le Havre > Footloose (1984) → #956
Le Havre > Idiocracy → #903
Le Havre > The Hurricane → #877
Le Havre < Nacho Libre → #877
Le Havre < Mean Girls → #877
Le Havre < The Secret of the Sword → #877
Le Havre < Dark Shadows → #877
Le Havre > Despicable Me 2 → #875

Le Havre Entered My Flickchart at #875/1699