Les Convoyeurs Attendent review

A tragi-comic fable about contemporary society's obsession with achievement, Les Convoyeurs Attendent unfolds in a nondescript Belgian mining town. As 2000 is about to dawn, local newspaper reporter Roger (Poelvoorde) dreams of fame and fortune for his family. Consequently, he enters his dozy 15-year-old son Michel into a competition to break the world record for door opening and closing, and even hires a coach with the latest American techniques.

Steering clear of worthy social realism, writer-director Benoit Mariage conjures up a delightfully off-kilter cinematic universe for his debut feature, successfully marrying deadpan humour with unexpected poignancy in his depiction of `ordinary' family life under strain.

Poelvoorde (the killer in Man Bites Dog) excels as the tyrannical paterfamilias, while the dreamy black-and-white images infuse the everyday settings with a poetic quality.

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