The world of young rookie Montreal cop JACQUES LANIEL (Serge Dupire, in a small part), comes apart when his partner, Thomas Colin (Jacques Godin), is ruthlessly murdered right before his eyes. Burdened by guilt, deserted by his wife, shunned by his colleagues, with both his personal and professional lives in a tailspin, and nothing left to lose, he quits the M.U.C. police department and becomes a private eye in La Conciergerie, a 1997 film from Quebec.
Laniel's investigation into the murder of a prominent author/entrepeneur leads to a ritzy half-way house the dead man owned (The Haven, which is the English title of the film). The chief suspects are an assortment of bizarre and disreputable characters, most of them inhabitants of the house. But, surprise, surprise, following the twists and turns of the case soon has Laniel hot on the trail of his partner's killers.
By most accounts, La Conceiergerie is an ambitious, if uneven, film, mixing an assortment of crime genres, with some fine performances. At the 1997 Festival des Films du Monde in Montreal, it nabbed le Prix du public pour le meilleur film canadien.
That's most accounts I could find, that is. Me? I still haven't managed to track it down.
And good friend to this site Keith Logan had a rather dissenting view: "I just rented this one two weeks ago and it was horrible. I cannot believe you didn't slam it...unless you haven't yet seen it. This one played on Showtime last week, sub-titled in English as The Haven. Atrocious. Falls into the category of so bad it's almost worth watching. I lost it when Laniel walks into the living room at the haven, puts his hands on his hips, sticks out his chin and annouces "Jacques Laniel - detective prive". Like they give a shit and are supposed to immediately confess! And I was really ready to like this one!...Bad, bad real fucking bad. Ya didn't see it, did you? Please tell me ya didn't!"
Well, you're right, Keith. I haven't seen it. Now I really want to, though. Thanks for the warning!
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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