Chicago Sun-Times - 07/06/1997
"...There is incredible buried passion in a Bresson film....Also great tension and excitement, tightly reined in....Bresson films with a certain gravity, a directness..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2005
"This is ultimately a redemptive story..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/11/2005
"[T]he performances that resulted are both mesmerizing and suffused with mystery." -- Grade: A
New York Times - 11/15/2005
"[A] remarkably dense and ambiguous film..."
Rolling Stone - 12/01/2005 Ranked #23 in Rolling Stone's "Top 25 DVDs Of 2005' -- "Bresson's hugely influential 1959 film about a Parisian thief..."
Inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic novel CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, Robert Bresson's PICKPOCKET tells the story of a man whose attraction to crime threatens to condemn him forever--spiritually as well as physically. Michel (Martin LaSalle), a young thief, is caught one afternoon, breaking his dying mother's heart and shocking his friends. Fortunately for Michel, the police inspector (Jean Pélégri) is unable to prosecute him, but the implications nonetheless sour Michel's once firm social standing. Trying to straighten his ways, Michel is again drawn to the criminal world, where under the tutelage of a master pickpocket he reverts back to thievery. All the while, his conscience nags at him, in the memory of his deceased mother as well as in the presence of Jeanne (Marika Green), a beautiful young woman who shows compassion toward the troubled Michel. Eventually, Michel's lucky streak ends, forcing him to find redemption in the most ironic of circumstances. Using his now-legendary simplistic storytelling style, Bresson is able to elevate his story to a supremely spiritual state, making for a stunningly powerful viewing experience. Delivering their lines slowly and somberly, the actors give the audience even more time for inner reflection, resulting in a cinematic masterwork.