The Family is a dark action comedy directed by the French famous Luc Besson. Besson is lately more a producer than a director, but we can always remember him for Subway, Le Grand Bleu, Nikita, Léon: The Professional, or The Fifth Element. If Quentin Tarantino became of originally reference across movie genres, Luc Besson is highly original before Tarantino. His movies and ideas were adapted in Hollywood for the American public taste.
The Family, because of Besson, is considered a French movie in English language, with Hollywood distribution, like Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron and John D’Leo. I have recently watched four De Niro movies almost in a row (as a matter of order, not in the same day, of course), and all were new, in a way or another, but The Family seems to be the only one susceptible of any interest. I have exaggerated, in fact they were two, but one of them was a drama (Red Lights, along Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy), and the other three were comedies. Very light comedies, actually, so you may not bother to watch them too, just for the sake of the famous cast. They are Last Vegas and The Big Wedding. Don’t waste your time, it’s not even a matter of tastes.
The film is simple, it’s utterly incredible and is hilarious in the highest degree. I’ve tried to read some reviews, but they don’t give it the right credit. As you see in the pictures here, you may realize already, that the family is composed by De Niro, the father, Michelle Pfeiffer as the mother (they seem to go pretty well together), Dianna Agron as the daughter, and the kid, D’Leo, as the son. They are not an ordinary family, they are members in a witness protection program coordinated by Tommy Lee Jones, a Federal agent, who relocated them in Normandy, France, in the obscure city of Cholong sur Avre, which doesn’t exist, of course, being the imaginary product of Tonino Benacquista, the novel’s author on which Luc Besson’s and Michael Caleo’s script is based on. The book is called Malavita, and I haven’t read it. They are in that program because De Niro, a former Cosa Nostra boss started to “snitch” his fellows. The oldest one, “Don Luchese” (played by doesn’t matter who) is already in prison in France, apparently, and he coordinates the hunt for the snitcher from a Goodfellas type cell. One of the former fellows (not traited, but he can’t know, and anyway, omertà is omertà) is Vincent Pastore, from The Sopranos, the guy who put the first gun in De Niro’s hand.
The action is incredible because the characters are funny and very witty. I thought first that the girl is Emma Roberts, but after a while, I realized the confusion. Anyway, very good performance and coordination between this family of “wise guys”. They speak English where people usually don’t, and everybody understand. The movie is very entertaining in a gloomy way. Don’t forget, it is a movie, in real life things are not even close to this. No trailer in this post, unfortunately what I found on youtube was too revealing. A bonus for this is that Martin Scorsese, is executive producer. Nice!
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