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Review: The Last Hammer Blow (French film, quite slow, arty)

My friend invited me to see Alix Delaporte The Last Hammer Blow tonight, and I had no idea what she was talking about, but I’m glad I went.

It’s the story of a 13 year old boy, Victor, who lives with his mother in a trailer park outside Montpelier.  Victor’s mother is seriously ill with cancer, his father is a famous conductor who doesn’t know of his existence and Victor himself is a promising football player, who is going through trials for a football academy.  When Victor’s father comes to town for a conducting gig, Victor goes to gatecrash a rehearsal and introduce himself.

The acting is very naturalistic, but I thought if you stripped that away, the whole set up was very logistically unlikely, especially the way that the father, after an initial “I don’t have a son” went on to accept the appearance of this random kid in his life without further demur.

On balance though the film made an admirable job of avoiding all the sentimental cliches.  The tension and the interest did stem from the unusualness of the set up and in that way, it was a beautifully balanced film.



  1. It’s nice to hear that this film did “an admirable job of avoiding all the sentimental cliches.” That isn’t an easy task. I’ve never heard of this film, but I’ll keep my eyes open for it. Thanks!

    • It’s really not an easy job, and even when watching part of me is yearning for the release that a more obvious tearful moment would bring.

  2. Hi Denise. Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my latest video work. I have always enjoyed both French films and the Chemical Brothers. May i suggest you check out anything by the ambient electronica trance artist Bvdub. Peace and Light.

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