From France, a démodé Bond spoof set appropriately in the mid-Fifties and shot scrupulously in the style of the period. What contemporary Hollywood production would impose such self-discipline? Would deny itself a computer and rely on its wits? Director Michel Hazanavicius evinces a fond remembrance of an era, a screen archetype, and a cinematic vocabulary, and he keeps up a mood of geniality that can blossom into an occasional chuckle, nothing more. The casual, complacent, innocent chauvinism of the Gallic superspy — a Bond, Jacques Bond, if you please — constitutes a legitimate and logical extension of the character, and constitutes at the same time effortless and painless political comment, not so démodé after all. Jean Dujardin, a paragon of self-regard, barely able to sustain forward momentum without freezing into a pose, neither overplays it nor underplays it. He plays it just right. With Bérénice Bejo and Aure Atika. (2007) — Duncan Shepherd
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