Though not an English-language film, the UK Film Council awarded £500,000 (€750,000) to assist its production.
Paramount Classics acquired the United States distribution rights of this film and gave it a limited US theatrical release on May 9, 2003 to a total of 85 theaters; this film went on grossing $2,542,020 in the United States theaters, which is a solid result for a non-English film. Paramount Classics was ecstatic with this film's performance in the United States market.
Milan (Hallyday) arrives in a small town by train at the start of the week. The hotel is closed, but he finds accommodation via a chance meeting with a retired poetry teacher, Manesquier (Rochefort). The film tells the story of the developing relationship between these apparent opposites, though looming in the background are two unavoidable events that each is expecting to take place on the Saturday - Manesquier is to undergo a major operation, and Milan (though he keeps this secret at first) is to lead a bank robbery. Manesquier soon realises Milan's intentions, but this does not prevent a growing mutual respect, with each envying the other's lifestyle.