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The bones of a young child are unearthed in the outskirts of a remote French town, prompting an extensive investigation by determined authorities in this made for television drama based on the book by Pascale Basset-Chercot and starring Amelie's Audrey Tautou. As a detective arrives in town in search of the clues that will help him solve this troubling mystery, his deductive skills are constantly subverted by the highly secretive and ominously eccentric behavior of the suspicious small-town denizens.
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'Le Boiteux: Baby Blues' is a sassy little French mystery made for French television in 1999 and is just now showing up on the shelves of local DVD rental stores. It is a fun little diversion with lots of French flavor and has a cast that is not only secure but plays this little tale with a sense of flair and tongue-in-cheek charm. We meet Lieutenant Deveure (Vincent Winterhalter) in the black and white backgrounds during the opening credits, watching him chase a criminal only to be shot in the ankle, an injury that leaves him crippled for life, requiring a leg brace and funky shoe and a limp. After the credits the blue-eyed lieutenant and his partner Granier (the always superb François Berléand) are investigating the discovery of a baby skeleton buried in the basement of an old home in the little town of Saint-Paray. Living in the curious house is a newly married couple Blandine (Audrey Tautou) and Patrick (Frédéric Gorny) Piancet, strange little people who initiate some of the twists the lieutenant must face in solving the mystery of the buried skeleton. Multiple characters are tangentially involved with the house - former owners and renters and contractors - each with sufficient reason to be implicated. Odd events eliminate some suspects and Deveure and Granier ultimately uncover a ring of criminal history that sets the little town on edge: all is not what it seems, even in the provincial villages! The manner of telling the story as directed by Paule Zajderman, who also wrote the screenplay based on Pascale Basset-Chercot's novel, is what brings the enchantment to the film. The cast is very strong (this is an early film for Tautou) and aside from Tautou and Berléand few of the actors are recognized outside of France. But for a mystery 'Blue Eyes' still bubbles like champagne! Grady Harp