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Jean Dujardin

'The Connection' takes the French perspective

'The Connection' takes the French perspective

Add the word "French" to the title of director Cedric Jimenez's period policier "The Connection," and you get this film's intended spiritual antecedent: William Friedkin's classic of vulgar New York cops against sophisticated European heroin traffickers. In rolling out a fictionalized version of the Marseille side of that infamous smuggling operation and the 1970s battle between dogged magistrate Pierre Michel (Jean Dujardin) and untouchable kingpin Gaetan "Tany" Zampa (Gilles Lellouche), Jimenez affects the gritty, grainy vibe of that era's thrillers. But the postmodern wink is always there, in a rock song cue, in a lingering love of...