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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Welcome To New York (2014)

A wealthy and powerful French financier (Gerard Depardieu) on business in New York is arrested for the rape of a hotel maid (Pamela Afesi). Abel Ferrera's film is based on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair of 2011. While the film is inspired by a true story, the film itself is not a factual account of that case. Names are changed and the many scenes of of private lives behind closed doors are entirely fictional. The film gets off to a rough start with the necessary but uninteresting exposition to provide background. The film picks up steam after the arrest but Depardieu's character is so repulsive that one doesn't care about his guilt or not. Still, one must admire Depardieu's lack of vanity. His wheezing, grunting, fleshy, flabby obese sex addict seems all too real and one must admire his lack of vanity in his many nude scenes (his strip search is pretty gross). But I don't think it was Ferrera's intent to gather sympathy for Depardieu's lech. The big surprise here is the fierce performance by Jacqueline Bisset as Depardieu's ambitious second wife. It's the kind of performance that if the film had been a big hit or garnered critical approval that might put her in awards contention. With Marie Moute and Joe Lawless.

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