Maurice PialatFrance113 minutes1985ColourFrench
Gérard Depardieu won the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his electrifying performance as the cynical, brutish Inspector Mangin, who vents his unhappiness with his private life by beating up suspects, double-crossing drug dealers, and coercing prostitutes into having sex with him. When Mangin becomes involved with a young woman (Sophie Marceau) who has stolen a suitcase of money and heroin from a narcotics kingpin, his already tenuous world starts to crumble. A characteristic Pialat mix of toughness and moral complexity, Police combines a gritty, documentary knowledge of the workings of the Parisian underworld (supplied by scriptwriter Catherine Breillat) with a dose of psychodrama (it is not difficult to see Mangin as another of Pialat's self-portraits). "A strong, distinctive, masterful piece of work" (Dave Kehr).