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Film Review: ‘The Night of the 12th’: Too Much Too Soon Sabotages This French Crime Thriller


NR | 1h 54min | Drama, Crime, Mystery | 19 May 2023 (France)
The winner of six César Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars), including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, “The Night of the 12th” (“La nuit du 12”) is one of the most unorthodox and original police procedurals I’ve ever seen. It eschews convention and steadfastly ignores the recognized tropes of the crime mystery blueprint. For those reasons alone, it should be seen by all fans of that genre.
Adapted from Pauline Guéna’s fact-inspired novel “18.3 – Une année à la PJ” by director Dominik Moll and his co-writer Gilles Marchand, “12th” is very good on a number of levels. Moll’s composition skills are perfect for the material. The movie has an appropriate claustrophobic feel; even the exterior shots come off as restricted and confining….