Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jérôme Salle|
|Written by||Jérôme Salle|
|Music by||Frédéric Talgorn|
|Editing by||Richard Marizy|
|Distributed by||Studio Canal|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Anthony Zimmer is a 2005 French romantic thriller film written and directed by Jérôme Salle and starring Sophie Marceau, Yvan Attal, and Sami Frey. Set mainly in southern France, the film is about a highly intelligent criminal—pursued by international police and the Russian mafia—whose extensive plastic surgery makes him unrecognizable, even to his girlfriend, who enlists the help of an unsuspecting stranger on a train. The film received a 2006 César Award Nomination for Best First Work for director Jérôme Salle.
Anthony Zimmer is a genius career criminal wanted by police around the world. He has used ingenious methods to launder money legally, using dummy corporations that file lawsuits against firms outside of France. Zimmer is also being pursued by the "White Collar Barons"—a powerful Russian mafia group with whom he once did business. Zimmer is an elusive character, however, with no known description of his appearance following his recent plastic surgery. One standout detective named Akerman (Sami Frey) is getting close to catching the criminal mastermind; he knows that Zimmer will risk everything to reunite with the lover he left behind, Chiara Manzoni (Sophie Marceau), who has not seen him since his plastic surgery.
Anticipating a reunion with Zimmer, Chiara arrives at a restaurant, where she receives a message from her boyfriend, telling her to "pick up" a stranger whose general appearance matches his own in order to mislead his pursuers. Chiara boards a TGV high-speed train and chooses François Taillandier (Yvan Attal), a bland 38-year-old translator who reads detective novels and whose wife left him over six months ago. Fascinated by this beautiful mysterious woman, François has difficulty concentrating on his yogurt and reading. When they arrive at Cannes, Chiara invites François to stay over with her at the Carlton Hotel. She also gives him a watch that bears Zimmer's name on the back.
The next morning, François wakes up alone and finds himself the target of two hitmen. He frantically escapes and seeks shelter at a nearby police station. There, he befriends Lt. Camel Driss (Samir Guesmi), who provides him with clothes and a room at a nearby hospital. They discover that Chiara checked out of the Carlton Hotel that day. Driss believes François' story after seeing a bullet hole in the hotel room, which is now occupied by members of the White Collar Barons and their leader, Nassaiev (Daniel Olbrychski). Later that night, Driss is murdered.
When he sees Nassaiev and his goons outside his room, François escapes and unexpectedly reunites with Chiara, who takes him to a secret hideout in Nice. There, she explains that she set him up because he matches Zimmer's build, and she tells him to stay in the hideout for a few days. The next day, however, François leaves the hideout and stalks her outside the Hotel Negresco, hoping to get more answers from her. Soon François is nabbed by the police and interrogated by Akerman, who reveals to him that Chiara is in fact an undercover DGDDI agent. That night, Ackerman secretly meets up with Chiara to discuss the rendezvous Zimmer proposed in a classified ad. Ackerman tells her that while she will be at the rendezvous point, he will keep an eye on François.
With François in custody, Ackerman and his men park their surveillance truck and post their snipers within the vicinity of the rendezvous point—Zimmer's old mansion. Chiara enters the mansion and confronts the White Collar Barons and Nassaiev, who threatens to kill her if Zimmer does not arrive within five minutes. François leaves the truck and rushes into the mansion to save her, but is immediately placed on the ground at gunpoint by Nassaiev's men. After Nassaiev rejects her claims that François is not Zimmer, Chiara gives the signal and the snipers shoot down the Russian mobsters.
As the police remove the Russian bodies from the scene, François reveals to Chiara that he is, in fact, Anthony Zimmer. She tells him to flee, but Zimmer refuses, even though he knows Chiara is an agent. He opens a secret safe and takes out a notebook filled with his banking information, and leaves it by the front door for Akerman—his way of giving up his life of crime for the woman he loves. Knowing what he's given up for her, Chiara decides not to reveal his true identity to the police, and the two drive away together.
Anthony Zimmer was filmed on location in France and Spain.
- Gare de Lyon, Paris 12, Paris, France
- Hôtel Carlton, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
- Hôtel Negresco, 37 Promenade des Anglais, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France
- Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
- Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France
- TGV Paris-Nice, France
Anthony Zimmer was critically well received. In her review in Variety magazine, Lisa Nesselson wrote that the "well-staged antics are not of the breathless variety, but a handful of original moments and a satisfying twist make the movie better than average."
In his review in DVD Talk, Svet Atanasov called Anthony Zimmer a "modest French production" that "tiptoes somewhere on the verge between being a sugary melodrama and an action-packed nailbiter with plenty of unexpected twists." Atanasov noted that the film "manages to pull quite a few intelligent stunts with an admirable finesse." Atanasov singled out first-time director Jérôme Salle and veteran actress Sophie Marceau for their work on the film:
Just when I thought that aside from the stunning vistas of the French Riviera and sunny beaches of Ibiza there is nothing else in Anthony Zimmer worth seeing director Jerome Salle managed to convince me that he had plenty of tricks in his bag worthy of recognition. All of a sudden the film became intriguingly dark and veered off in a direction that aroused my attention. Sophie Marceau reassured my belief that age has only further enhanced her irrefutable charm.
In their review in Get the Big Picture, the Three Abiding Dudes applauded the performances of Sophie Marceau and Yvan Attal:
The reason this movie works so well is that there is actual chemistry between Sophie Marceau (Chiara) and Yvan Attal (Francois). We can actually see the attraction between the two prinicple actors, it's strong enough to carry the film when these two are on the screen, and when they are by themselves we can understand their motives and reasoning.
The film did well at the box-office, with 802,988 seats sold in France.
The film was remade under the title The Tourist, which was directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, and Timothy Dalton, and released on December 10, 2010. Filming began on February 23, 2010 in Paris, France. Despite being a box-office success and receiving three nominations (Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress) in the Musical or Comedy picture category at the 68th Golden Globe Awards, the remake was met with mostly negative critical reviews.
- "Anthony Zimmer". Box Office Mojo/IMDb. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Anthony Zimmer". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Awards for Anthony Zimmer". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Full cast and crew for Anthony Zimmer". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Filming locations for Anthony Zimmer". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Nesselson, Lisa (May 4, 2005). "Anthony Zimmer". Variety. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Atanasov, Svet (April 24, 2006). "Anthony Zimmer". DVD Talk. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Three Abiding Dudes (January 16, 2011). "Foreign Film Tribute Movie Review: 'Anthony Zimmer (2005)'". Get the Big Picture. Retrieved 7 February 2012.