Disregard the disclaimer in the opening credits about any resemblance to persons or events being coincidental: workhorse auteur Claude Chabrol’s latest is directly inspired by the real-life Elf Aquitaine oil company scandal in France. On typically impressive form, Isabelle Huppert plays examining magistrate Jeanne Charmant-Killman (nickname: The Piranha), who uncovers massive fraud and corruption at the executive levels of a state-supported conglomerate. Chabrol proves less concerned with the mechanics of corporate wrongdoing than with observing how the case impacts on the private life of his investigative heroine. Economically shot and with amusing cameos from the likes of veteran thesp Jean-Francois Balmer and director’s son Thomas, it’s bleakly resigned in its conclusions.
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