After the battered body of a rent boy is pulled out of the Rhone, two Lyonnaise homicide detectives (Gilbert Melki and Emmanuelle Devos) begin canvassing his teenage peers, sifting through his cell phone records, and tracing his recent online activities. With this intelligent and assured debut feature (2009), writer-director Frederic Mermoud counterpoises the cops’ chilly police procedure and shared middle-aged melancholy (strictly platonic) with a coup de foudre romance, played out in flashbacks, between the dead hustler (Cyril Descours) and a doe-eyed middle-class girl (Nina Meurisse) he meets in a cyber cafe and introduces to the streets. The firmly controlled film is an exercise in contrast and balance: graphic but not prurient, polished but not slick, fixated by sexual danger yet devoid of puritanism. In French with subtitles.
NR • 1 hour 33 min • 2009