The Emperor of Paris

The Emperor of Paris

Jean-François Richet (2018)



Our Score
Capable of convincing as saint or sinner, French superstar Vincent Cassel is (eventually) on the side of the angels in this stylish, historically illuminating period drama about real-life criminal-turned-crime-fighter François Vidocq. Following a Houdini-like escape from penal servitude in 1805, Vidocq goes into hiding but his identity is exposed years later and he's forced to use his encyclopedic inside knowledge to clean up the Parisian underworld in exchange for amnesty. He's aided by a motley crew of society's discards, including his prostitute lover (Freya Mavor), but there's resistance from Denis Ménochet's brutish cop, the "Napoleon of the Underworld" (played with relish by Denis Lavant), an old cellmate-turned-killer (August Diehl) and a seductively manipulative baroness (Olga Kurylenko). Director Jean-François Richet's good-looking adventure is not in the class of gangster epic Mesrine, his terrific 2008 collaboration with Cassel, but the star's steely charisma more than compensates as does the cracking finale in a subterranean lair.

Cast & Crew

François Vidocq Vincent Cassel
Henry Patrick Chesnais
Nathanaël August Diehl
The Baroness Olga Kurylenko
Maillard Denis Lavant
Annette Freya Mavor
Dubillard Denis Ménochet
Courtaud Jérôme Pouly
Fouché Fabrice Luchini
Marshal Ney Jean-François Richet
Director Jean-François Richet
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourGuidance: Violence, brief nudityAvailable on: DVD