Bruno Dumont’s absurdist metaphysical murder mystery prompts inevitable comparisons to Twin Peaks and True Detective

Quinquin (Alane Delhaye) is the ringleader of a group of pre-teen troublemakers, who are excited to spend their summer vacation merrily terrorising their sleepy rural town in northern France. Early on they spot a helicopter that’s airlifting… is that a dead cow? Racing around on their bikes to get a closer look, they discover that the cow, found in an abandoned World War II bunker, contains the dismembered body (but not the head) of a woman. It’s the first in a series of similarly grisly crimes. Captain Van der Weyden spends the rest of Li’l Quinquin doggedly investigating the murders, often with Quinquin and friends at his heels.

These naturally curious kids wind up learning more about the darker side of human nature than they bargained for. Featuring Bernard Pruvost as the Clouseau-like detective on the case and charismatic young Alane Delhaye as the title prankster, Li’l Quinquin is proof that even an auteur like Dumont, best known for uncompromising and austere dramas, is capable of shifting gears without conceding his signature.

‘Li’l Quinquin’ Topped Cahiers Du Cinema’s Top 10 Films Of 2014

Reviews

A sly laugh riot.
A wonderfully weird and unexpectedly hilarious murder mystery.