Oh Mercy!

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Oh Mercy!
Oh Mercy! poster.jpg
Film poster
FrenchRoubaix, une lumière
Directed byArnaud Desplechin
Written byArnaud Desplechin
Léa Mysius
Based onRoubaix, commissariat central
by Mosco Boucault
Produced byPascal Caucheteux
Grégoire Sorlat
StarringRoschdy Zem
Léa Seydoux
Sara Forestier
Antoine Reinartz
CinematographyIrina Lubtchansky
Edited byLaurence Briaud
Music byGrégoire Hetzel
Distributed byLe Pacte
Release date
  • 22 May 2019 (2019-05-22) (Cannes)
  • 21 August 2019 (2019-08-21) (France)
Running time
119 minutes
Box office$2,851,541[1]

Oh Mercy! (French: Roubaix, une lumière, lit.'Roubaix, a light') is a 2019 French crime drama film directed by Arnaud Desplechin. The film was inspired by the 2008 TV documentary Roubaix, commissariat central, directed by Mosco Boucault.[2] It stars Roschdy Zem, Léa Seydoux, Sara Forestier, and Antoine Reinartz. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.[3][4]


One Christmas night in Roubaix, the local police chief Daoud, and Louis, a fresh recruit, are confronted with the violent murder of an elderly woman. The victim's two young, female neighbours, Claude and Marie, are arrested.[5]


  • Roschdy Zem as Daoud
  • Léa Seydoux as Claude
  • Sara Forestier as Marie
  • Antoine Reinartz as Louis
  • Chloé Simoneau as Judith
  • Betty Catroux as De Kayser
  • Jérémy Brunet as Aubin
  • Stéphane Duquenoy as Benoît
  • Philippe Duquesne as Dos Santos
  • Anthony Salamone as Kovalki
  • Ilyes Bensalem as Farid
  • Abdellatif Sedegui as Soufia's father
  • Sylvie Moreaux as Soufia's mother
  • Diya Chalaoui as Fatia Belkacem
  • Bouzid Bouhdida as Soufia's uncle
  • Maïssa Taleb as Soufia Duhamel-Hami


The film had its world premiere in the Competition section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on 22 May 2019.[6] It was released in France on 21 August 2019.[7]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 59% based on 29 reviews, with an average rating of 5.43/10.[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a grade of C−, writing, "Forestier and Seydoux are both fantastically desperate as dead end citizens who met each other at a very dangerous time in their lives, but Desplechin fails to make full use of his actors; instead of allowing them to shade in their characters, he pummels the audience into an ambiguous state of forced sympathy."[10] Chuck Bowen of Slant Magazine gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, commenting that "The film's master image is among the greatest images of Desplechin's career: the women, recreating their strangulation of the victim for the police, briefly hold their hands together under the victim's pillow."[11]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur 4 October 2019 Bayard d'or Oh Mercy! Won [12]
Lumières Award 27 January 2020 Best Film Oh Mercy! Nominated [13]
Best Director Arnaud Desplechin Nominated
Best Actor Roschdy Zem Won
Best Cinematography Irina Lubtchansky Nominated
César Award 28 February 2020 Best Film Oh Mercy! Nominated [14]
Best Director Arnaud Desplechin Nominated
Best Actor Roschdy Zem Won
Best Supporting Actress Sara Forestier Nominated
Best Adaptation Arnaud Desplechin and Léa Mysius Nominated
Best Cinematography Irina Lubtchansky Nominated
Best Original Music Grégoire Hetzel Nominated


  1. ^ "Oh Mercy!". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  2. ^ Weissberg, Jay (22 May 2019). "Cannes Film Review: 'Oh Mercy'". Variety. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Cannes festival 2019: full list of films". The Guardian. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  4. ^ "The Screenings Guide 2019". Cannes Film Festival. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Roubaix, une lumière". Le Pacte (in French). Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Roubaix, une lumière". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Roubaix, une lumière". AlloCiné. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Oh Mercy! (Roubaix, Une Lumière) (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Oh Mercy! Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  10. ^ Ehrlich, David (22 May 2019). "'Oh Mercy!' Review: Leá Seydoux Is Totally Wasted in Arnaud Desplechin's Flat Procedural". IndieWire. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  11. ^ Bowen, Chuck (16 September 2019). "Review: Oh Mercy! Is a Bracing Study of Violence Born of Helplessness". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  12. ^ Engelen, Aurore (7 October 2019). "Oh Mercy! wins the Bayard d'or at the Namur Film Festival". Cineuropa. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  13. ^ Roxborough, Scott (27 January 2020). "France's Lumiere Awards: 'Les Misérables' Wins Best Film, Roman Polanski Tapped as Best Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  14. ^ Roxborough, Scott (28 February 2020). "'Les Miserables' Wins Best Film at Cesar Awards, Polanski Takes Best Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 February 2020.

External links[edit]