Even when director Bruno Dumont is doing funny, you need to be prepared for a bunch of people to be killed, chopped up into tiny pieces, and fed to children.
Stick with me. Slack Bay is a very surreal black comedy set in the picture-esque French countryside during the summer of 1910. It is a mystery that isn't especially mysterious, and a comedy that isn't all that funny. This seems to be a deliberate strategy rather than a failure of imagination.
Shortly before World War I, haute bourgois André Van Peteghem (Fabrice Luchini) arrives at the title’s location on the Normandy coast with wife Isabelle (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) and sister Aude (Juliette Binoche) just as rotund police inspector Machin (Didier Després) is summoned to investigate a spate of mysterious disappearances.
This vicious dissection of the French class system carries echoes of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Delicatessen, although plenty of pratfalls and slapstick business have been imported from Laurel and Hardy, Monty Python and the Clouseau movies. A very odd allsorts indeed. (research Jack Whiting)