Le Velo wins laughs for slapstick humour

Laughs. Tragedy. Soul. Le Velo, shown at Friday’s movie night, had it all and more.

Le Velo is definitely a movie to put on your ‘must watch’ list if you missed our viewing but enjoy a laugh. It has been described as a tragicomic masterpiece and describes the life of Ghislain Lambert, whose extravagant vision for himself included world cycling glory, only to find such hedonistic peaks out of reach in reality. His journey through the pitfalls and idiosyncrasies of professional cycling make for entertaining viewing and are combined with beautiful scenery derived from real life locations in the cycling tour such as the Roubaix velodrome and Col d’Izoard.

Benoît Poelvoorde is magnificent in the main role, ensuring that his elastic features are used to full comic effect, and providing plenty of laughs with his impeccable timing. Originally from Belgium, Poelvoorde’s mainstream success has ensured that he is one of the most recognised faces in Francophone cinema having enjoyed a steady stream of box office hits. He puts his talents to good use in this homage to the enthusiastic competitor in us all who is only limited by physical inadequacies which, in the demanding and strenuous sport of cycling, are a make or break ingredient.

The action takes place in the 1970s and amongst the vintage bikes and very wide lapels there lurks cycling superstars such as Eddy Merckx representing the heights to which Lambert aspires. Watching the mammoth, yet ineffective, efforts Lambert dedicates to achieving his dreams is an amusing and often hilarious venture due to the slapstick laughs up for grabs. We understand his plight and are willing to back this dark horse because of his tremendous heart and because we all have dreams.

Join us for our next movie night as we explore the world of French cinema.

Pictures: cycling scene from France4 and DVD cover from Cinema Passion