The Sentinel

A medical intern (Emmanuel Salinger), the son of a deceased French diplomat in Germany, is en route to Paris when he suddenly comes into possession of a decapitated head and is drawn into a world of espionage. A disturbing commentary on the aftermath of the cold war, this 1992 first feature by Arnaud Desplechin (My Sex Life . . . or How I Got Into an Argument) has already won a cult following with its casual portraiture of a yuppie milieu, its fascinating mystery story, and its paranoid but morally concerned indictment of Europe in the early 90s. Oddly, the Paris where most of this unfolds is rather lackluster, but Desplechin has a vivid sense of character, and the cast is pretty strong. With Thibault de Montalembert, Marianne Denicourt, Jean-Louis Richard, and Valerie Dreville; Salinger contributed to the screenplay. (JR)

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