Alice (Cécile de France) is an American trader in a Russian bank in Monaco. She had to leave the USA after less than legal trades, a circumstance which makes her the target of the FSB who would like to take down the bank’s owner Ivan Rostovsky (Tim Roth) for money laundry. But there are two things that make this more difficult: one, the FSB doesn’t know that Alice is already working for the CIA. And two, FSB leader Moise (Jean Dujardin) starts an affair with Alice.
kathrintha, with whom I saw the film, summed it up perfectly, so I’m gonna just steal it: “It’s sad when a film just falls flat on it’s pretentious face halfway to So-Bad-It’s-Good.”
I’m honetly not so sure where things went wrong with this film. It certainly wasn’t with the (main) cast – Jean Dujardin, Cécile de France and Tim Roth were all really great. Though I didn’t get why Alice had to be American, especially since de France’s English is far from accent-free. On the other hand, I looked up both Dujardin and Roth to see if maybe they had some Russian ancestors, because their accents were impressive, especially Roth’s. [Apparently they don't.] Dujardin and de France have good chemistry with each other. Tim Roth is my favorite guy to play an asshole anyway. And to have Émilie Dequenne appear every once in a while was just the icing on the cake.
But despite the good cast, this is the kind of film where you have two incredibly attractive people in Dujardin and de France, who have good chemistry with each other and the sex scenes are still somewhere between cringeworthy and ridiculous because Rochant tried so very hard to make them intense but fails utterly.
Though the sex scenes were far from the only thing that missed it’s target by a wide margin. The US-Americans seemed out of place in the story and never felt actually real. The ending sucks balls. [SPOILERS] Moise and Alice make get-away plans, which she breaks off after finding out that he’s been lying to her the entire time. He is unhappy and killed his career with the entire thing. She continues working as a financial advisor until she’s poisoned, which leaves her basically brain-dead (though – ROMANCE – she still recognizes his hugs). And I just couldn’t help but feel that she was being punished, storyline-wise, for not sticking with Moise. (Whereas he was punished for not doing his job right.) Ugh. [/SPOILERS]
And on top of it all, it was confusing (ok, I did fall asleep for a bit and I might have missed some info) and boring. Oh so very boring. It just thought that it was smarter than it actually was.
Summarizing: if you think Jean Dujardin shirtless is worth two hours of boredom, go for it.