The Advocate

An enthralling, witty legal thriller set in 1452 France. Richard Courtois (Colin Firth), a bright young advocate (lawyer), comes to a small French town in hopes that his practice there will be more relaxing than in the “big city” of Paris. Wrong. The opening crawl informs us that it was customary back then to try animals for crimes, and the plot spins off of the murder of a Jewish boy — for which a pig stands accused. Ridiculous as this may sound, it’s not a costume-drama version of L.A. Law; it attacks the hypocrisy of the theocratic legal system and gives us a hero (excellently played by Firth) torn between his reason and his duties. There is also, I must say, a good deal of raunch: No fewer than three voluptuous women imperil our hero’s short-lived virtue. Far from being a stuffy period piece, the movie is fun and intellectually engaging — everything The Name of the Rose should have been but wasn’t. The stellar supporting cast includes Ian Holm, Donald Pleasence, Nicol Williamson, Michael Gough, Lysette Anthony, and the stunning Amina Annabi as the Egyptian woman who wins Courtois’ heart. It’s also known as The Hour of the Pig and was threatened with an NC-17 rating.

Explore posts in the same categories: comedy, thriller

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