Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cool-Hand Luc Gives the French the Finger

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cool-Hand Luc Gives the French the Finger

Article excerpt

Byline: COS

THE FAMILY Cert 15, 111 mins IN Luc Besson's knowing black comedy, Robert De Niro plays a mobster in a witness protection programme who, while hiding out in Normandy, is asked to watch Goodfellas at a local cinema club. The actor's little riff on the Scorsese classic provides The Family with its best moment. Clearly, De Niro is happy to cannibalise his glorious past, but for those of us who love him, it's like sucking on old bones.

Giovanni Manzoni (De Niro) has been moved, by the FBI, to a tiny village with his wife and two teenage kids. Each member of the clan has anger-management issues. The wife (Michelle Pfeiffer; looking deeply miserable) goes to a local shop and overhears them insulting "dumb Americans" in French. She doesn't say anything (it's one of many mysteries that this character can apparently understand French but chooses not to speak it), she just blows up the shop. Meanwhile, the daughter assaults some sexist boys at her school and Giovanni pulverises the plumber. …

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