Shipwrecked On Route D17

The slickest work to date by French director Luc Moullet, perhaps because he ceded the producer’s chores to the resourceful Portuguese independent Paulo Branco. This 2002 feature isn’t my favorite Moullet comedy, but it provides a good introduction to his subtle humor. Set in 1991 during the gulf war, it shuttles back and forth among a champion racer whose car has broken down on a nearly abandoned highway, his randy female assistant, a couple of astronomers (including Mathieu Amalric of Kings and Queen), a clueless French army unit searching for Saddam Hussein, and various local rustics. In French with subtitles. 82 min. (JR)

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