Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine) is a Nazi collaborator, forced on thelam when a feisty Parisian judge (Tilda Swinton) teams up with a French army colonel (Jeremy Northam) to bring him to justice. But there's more: Brossard, a self-pitying religious zealot, has been hidden and supported by the Catholic church for decades, part of a nationwide conspiracy to protect the unsavoury pasts of government bigwigs...
One thing's for sure: Michael Caine is not the first name to spring to mind when casting a French Nazi. And, sure enough, his apples-and-pears pronunciation sticks in the craw, a hard-to-ignore smudge on an otherwise pristine performance. Still, at least he's not alone, a variety of English thesps playing Franco roles for no apparent reason.
Get past the bizarre casting and whiff of Euro-pudding, however, and Norman Jewison's political thriller plays like a classy episode of Bergerac, replete with tantalising moral core. Which, as praise goes, is hardly irresistible.
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