watch later

Not interested / seen

Beau travail (1999)Beau travail (1999)

Beau travail (1999)

Claire Denis’ portrait of masculine angst and decaying military tradition is an operatic juggernaut

Drama

7.9

movie

France
French, Italian, Russian
Original, Thought-provoking
1999
Claire Denis, Female director
Dan Herzberg, Denis Lavant, Gianfranco Poddighe
92 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
Foreign Legion officer Galoup recalls his once glorious life, training troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, until the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup's mind.

Our Take

7.9
Igor Fishman

Often considered Claire Denis’ best film, Beau Travail is an epic exploration of both masculinity and colonialism. Inspired by Melville’s Billy Budd, she transplants the story to Djibouti where the French Foreign Legion run seemingly aimless drills in an arid desert landscape while largely alienated from the local community. 

Denis inverts the male gaze and imbues charged eroticism to the bodies in motion as the men train and wrestle. Accompanied by the music of Britten’s Billy Budd opera, these movements transform into a breathtaking modern dance. Underneath her jaw-dropping direction is a cutting allegory on repression, desire, and violence, working on both the individual and geopolitical level. This incredible tale is capped off by one of the best end credit sequences of all time. 

Comments

What did you think? Who should watch it?

Next up

Bloody Sunday (2002)

7.8

A meticulous and infuriating reconstruction of the 1972 Bogside Massacre in Northern Ireland

The Vanishing (1988)

best

8.7

Love, curiosity, and obsession blur when a man’s girlfriend mysteriously disappears

Utama (2022)

7.5

Wide in scope and intimate in detail, Utama is a breathtakingly beautiful film

Some Kind of Heaven (2020)

7.2

An intriguing documentary that dives deep into a suspiciously euphoric retirement community

Spoiler Alert (2022)

7.7

A modern love story and soon-to-be holiday classic

Seabiscuit (2003)

7.1

A rousing sports drama that displays the kinetic beauty of horseracing

Bad Axe (2022)

7.8

A precious snapshot of a fraught time in American history

Clean, Shaven (1993)

best

8.4

A schizophrenic man’s parental capability is put to test amidst a murder investigation

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001)

7.9

A smart and poetic film about the invisible strings that tie us to each other

Metropolitan (1990)

7.0

A little something for the Scott Fitzgerald (and Gossip Girl) fans
agmtw
eu

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.

We are home to the best film and TV on popular streaming services. Supported only by readers like you and by public grants.