Total French charm in the port city from Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. A hard-drinking old noir guy (splendid André Wilms) helps a fugitive African kid (stoical Blondin Miguel) escape the authorities, aided by his social-solidarity neighbors in a retrograde zone of Le Havre. Vapors of past French masters (Clair, Pagnol, Carné, Becker, Melville, Renoir, Truffaut) perfume the story without cloying, though Jean-Pierre Léaud (The 400 Blows) is barely recognizable as a creep. Dry, Kaurismäkian humor keeps the film from slopping sentimentally, yet you may be moved. A bonus is vintage rocker Little Bob, a sort of munchkin Roy Orbison. 2011.

3.0 stars

— David Elliott

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