The Lost Son review

It had all the makings of a classy act: the English-language debut of French star Daniel Auteuil (Jean De Florette, Le Bossu), a rare outing for cinematographer-turned-director Chris Menges (A World Apart), Nastassja Kinski leading a fine supporting cast... Instead, we're left a disappointing addition to that new and seedy sub-genre - the paedophile thriller.

Auteuil plays Lombard, a private detective with a tragic past, who has left Paris to live in London. The early scenes, in which he takes on a case to find an old friend's missing brother-in-law, are the strongest, with Auteuil convincing as the maverick loner abroad. His dodgy English is at least appropriate, and he oozes charisma in a close-cropped, big-nosed, chain-smoking, De Niro kinda way.

The trouble starts when Lombard discovers the 'lost son's' connections to a paedophile ring, after which the focus moves from character study towards a melodrama which is nasty, violent and all too predictable.

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