My sister and I spent a very enjoyable Sunday last week, eating delicious risotto (which I made using this recipe from Lola-Lu’s kitchen – a great food blog), watching both parts of Mesrine, and drooling over Vincent Cassel.
The movies are about Jacques Mesrine, France’s Public Enemy Number One in the late 1960s and 1970s. Mesrine was a prolific criminal, starting with kidnapping and going on to rob banks, sometimes two in one day. He courted fame, giving interviews to the press and writing a book about his exploits, on which these films are based. Mesrine became a legend in France thanks to stunts like kidnapping a judge in a packed courtroom during sentencing and using the judge as a cover for an escape, escaping from one of Canada’s most secure prisons and then returning a few weeks later to break out his friends, and pretending to be the police when interrupted during a house burglary by the owners.
Vincent is mesmerising in the role and deservedly won the 2009 Cesar award for Best Actor for his work in Mesrine. He is terrifying when raging with Mesrine’s vicious temper, shoving a gun in his wife’s mouth or burying alive one of his enemies, but Cassel shrewdly gives Mesrine a heart, showing his charm and intelligence, making him more than a two dimensional villain. Mesrine cements his reputation as one of France’s foremost actors.
As regards the drooling? My sister and I agreed that firstly, Mesrine should go in the Movember Hall of Fame, and secondly, only Vincent Cassel could sport a ‘tache that luxuriant and still be attractive (apart from Tom Selleck, obviously).
Anyway if you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it.