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The Escort (1999) Mauvaise passe

Title: The Escort
AKA: The Wrong Blonde
Year: 1999
Original title: Mauvaise passe
Runtime: 1 hour, 41 minutes
Country: France
Language: English | French [dual audio]
Subtitles: French (.sub/.idx)
Genre: Drama

Director: Michel Blanc

Daniel Auteuil … Pierre
Stuart Townsend … Tom
Liza Walker … Kim
Noah Taylor … Gem
Frances Barber … Jessica
Claire Skinner … Patricia
Béatrice Agenin … Catherine
Keith Allen … Jessica’s Husband
Ben Whishaw … Jay
Barbara Flynn … Kim’s Mother
Anastasia Hille … Steffy
Sarah-Jane Potts … Liz
Amanda Ryan … Ann
Peter Mullan … Patricia’s Husband
Julie Wilson Nimmo … Girl in Soho

Plot / Synopsis

Writer-director Michel Blanc, whose previous works include the acclaimed Marche a l’ombre (1984) and Dead Tired (1994), creates this gritty drama about a middle-aged impoverished French writer in London who becomes a gigolo. The film opens with Pierre getting worked over by an irate pimp because he didn’t pay for a hooker’s drink. Rakish Irishman Tom offers to drive bloodied Pierre back to his seedy hotel. The following day, he stumbles upon Tom’s sandwich bar and begs for a job. Though he describes himself as a dead-broke author working on a novel, Pierre is concealing secrets from his dark past. Later, during a party populated with well-turned out lesbians, Tom reveals that he moonlights as a gigolo and suggests that Pierre might try the same. Soon Pierre is making easy money at the same agency where Tom works. Things get complicated for our Gallic protagonist when he falls for a golden-hearted streetwalker with a psychotic ex-boyfriend and one of his married regulars falls for him. Told with wry wit and gritty honesty, this film explores London’s dark sexual netherworld.

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