The Henri Pick mystery: books, an investigation and Fabrice Lucchini!

The small literary world, its tons of published books – most of them pounded -, its authors and authors desperate to obtain a little recognition, its publishing houses ready to do a lot for good sales figures, its critics with the right to life or death on the works… The cinema, of course, can only find material for fictions. With some, like Olivier Assayas for example in Double lives, this environment has become a pretext for a pretty satire of bourgeois customs overtaken by new technologies. With others, like Rémi Bezançon (The first day of the rest of your life, Our futures), it can also be transformed – and this is more surprising – into a universe of quasi-police investigation!

Adapted from a novel by David Foenkinos (Delicacy), whose choral principle has been abandoned, The Henry Pick Mystery is indeed what one might call a literary thriller. In this singular genre, of which it is one of the rare representatives, this film at least has the merit of entertaining, which is not an insignificant quality.

Yes, the strings are big (and the music does not hesitate to highlight them even more!), especially at the beginning, when a young editor from Grasset, on vacation with her father in a Breton village, discovers in a library devoted to rejected manuscripts a work entitled The last hours of a love story, signed Henri Pick, now deceased. Favorite – publication – national triumph, poof, the film is launched.

The Henri Pick Mystery, by Rémi Bezançon Photo: AZ Films

Once the gears are triggered, the film is devoured like those big cobblestones that you bring to the beach and can’t let go!

Who was Henry Pick? Did he really write this book? Why does the critic Jean-Michel Rouche obsess over it to the point of wanting to prove that it is a masquerade and lose his wife and job? Why did Madeleine and Joséphine, wife and daughter of Pick, know nothing of Henri’s literary desires? Can the ambition of a young editor lead to such deception? The questions pile up and constitute the fascinating threads of this simple, tonic and pleasant film.

Yes, nice, because beyond the investigation, what emerges is of course the passion for books.

That of provincial librarians, reading clubs of friends, readers eager for all these words. The one that goes well beyond the small Parisian media-professional circle. That of all those who know well that behind the stories we read, there is as much love as ambition, fantasized lives as obstacles. And of course, that of Fabrice Lucchini; we understand at every moment of this film why he was chosen for this role of critic, capable of tackling everything and investing everything, for his simple love of books. Long live the mysteries! Long live the books!

The trailer (source: YouTube)

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