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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 25 September 2013
Let My People Go! is the most delightful movie I've seen in ages. Nicolas Maury is so utterly adorable, so sweetly, innocently, devastatingly sexy, so fascinating to watch every second he's on screen, that I wish he'd already starred in dozens of movies so I could watch them all. Since he hasn't, I'll have to sift through the few in which he has appeared in smaller roles.

His seemingly unselfconscious charm makes this whole movie a great joy to watch, and I can't imagine it without him at its heart - but everybody else in it and behind it is so good that I'd give it a try anyway.

Maury plays Reuben Steiner (spelled Ruben in the credits), a gay French Jew living in Finland with Teemu, his Finnish husband. His scheme to start a sauna business has failed and he's working as a mailman.

A man on his mail route gives him an envelope containing almost 200,000 euro and then appears to drop dead. Teemu gets angry at Ruben for taking the money and kicks him out, so he returns to spend Passover with his highly eccentric but very loving family in Paris.

It's a farce, much like a very modern version of a 30s screwball comedy, but all the main characters are so lovable and real that the totally unreal stuff that happens doesn't matter.

There are no bad performances (his mother is played by Almodóvar's longtime muse Carmen Maura), no villains in the story except a pig-headed in-law and a couple of snarky cops, but they're negligible. A scene near the end in which the rottweiler-like police chief reads Ruben's love letter (in English) to Teemu over the phone is priceless.

A brilliant screenplay (co-written with director Mikael Buch by the divine Christophe Honoré), mostly in French and Finnish with fairly good English subtitles; and an interesting score with songs by Devendra Banhart, Noah and the Whale and others.

I rented the movie, but I loved it so much that I've ordered a copy to watch many times over. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 13 October 2013
I'm glad to say this is one of tla releasing's best films for some time, and you can trust the cover photo to get the tone of this one! At its heart is an excellent comic performance by Nicolas Maury as Ruben; he really makes the most of the role in a screwball-style scenario, co-scripted by director Mikael Buch with Christophe Honore, who is not usually as light as this. After a not very convincing argument with his Finnish boyfriend over a fortune that was thrust into his hands in a brown envelope by a man who promptly seemed to die, Ruben heads back to France and the chaos of his Jewish family just before the Passover Feast. The film then keeps jumping back and forth between the two countries and their different look and languages, which keeps the whole thing floating in the air. It's good to see Carmen Maura in one of her best roles for years as the mother, still scintillating and playing up all her virtues as an actress. Clement Sibony is sexy as the more macho brother, but without any homophobia, in fact one of the most refreshing things about the film is that none of the characters has a trace of homophobic feeling. Jarkko Niemi as the boyfriend is also very pleasing to look at, and a number of other classic French actors pop up: Jean-Francois Stevenin, so good in Jacques Demy's Une Chambre en ville, Aurore Clement from Louis Malle's Lacombe Lucien (two Clements in a film of such sunny spirit ...), and other familiar faces. It's not hard to see why they were attracted by the material. Ruben has a huge poster of Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on his bedroom wall, and a photo of Romy Schneider who morphs into his boyfriend Teemu as he kisses it - so it can't be all bad ... Imagine a cross between Poltergay and Patrik, Age 1.5, and you get this - it's fresh, vivid and fun-filled.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 October 2013
Reuben lives with his gay lover Teemu in a seemingly rural idyll in Teemu's native Finland. Reuben did have dreams of opening a line of swish saunas but for the time being has opted to earn his living as a postman or `posti'. Then one morning a widower refuses to accept a registered delivery of a load of cash. In the fracas he collapses after insisting the Reuben take the money.

Once back with Teemu things go wrong when Reuben refuses to go to the cops. Teemu in a pique of conservative zeal insists he either fess up or he will throw him out. So alone on the street Reuben, who is also Jewish, heads home to Paris to celebrate The Passover with his family. Once there he is soon drowning in the needs of his family where he becomes a confessor and fall guy all rolled into one. His family have a few skeletons in a few closets and his mum is so brilliantly over bearing it comes as no surprise when he asks a Rabbi friend if he can become `unjewish'. The thing is he desperately misses Teemu and just wants to be happy, but will Teemu ever forgive him - and the wad of cash?

This is a finely balanced and warm comedy where everyone puts in a great performance to the extent that it looks effortless. Beautifully shot and with a good soundtrack to boot this put a smile on my face and let it stay there. Nicolas Maury (`Paris Je t'aime') as Reuben is so innocent and hapless to make anything he does seem completely forgivable, his mother is played by the wonderful Carmen Maura (`Volver' etc) who steals every scene - but in a good way. Jean-Luc Bideau as Mousier Goldberg is tremendous fun as the sexually rampant older man. This is in French with some Finnish and rather good sub titles. There really is nothing not to like (sorry double negative I think) about this wonderful film from director Mikael Buch who also helped write this and I do hope his star is in the ascendancy as this is the type of film and director that cinema is much the richer for having around.
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on 27 October 2013
Really enjoyed this French Farce - although sometimes the subtitles moved off the screen too quickly for you to both read them and watch the great acting happening! The plot has been covered in other reviews so I wont repeat it here. All the acting was of a high-standard and the lead actor playing Reuben was especially good. The film was fresh and charming (I loved the way Finland was portrayed as some fairy (no pun intended) land in bright primary colours). Although the outcome was never in doubt, it was still highly enjoyable entertainment and a definite keeper.
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on 29 August 2014
This is a pleasant enough film, with little to criticise, and yet not much to enthuse about. The main character is French - is it really him speaking Finnish at the beginning of the film - and is quite camp. On the other hand his Finnish boyfriend comes across as sweet, but straight-acting. He's also quite dishy!
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on 4 November 2013
I bought this dvd on the strength of the four reviews giving it high praise. Sadly, I was very disappointed in this film. I enjoy French movies and I was looking forward to the mix of French & finnish language. To start with,I didn't like the main character played by Nicolas Maury. I didn't find him loveable or funny in the least. Nothing in this movie was funny. I have seen a few of Carmen Maura's spanish movies and she is an excellent actor but even her presence as the mother couldn't save this movie from being a dud. Of the gay comedy movies that I have seen as a whole, the good ones ( which are very few )tend to be foreign speaking. So I give Let My People Go only 1 star. It was so disappointing & frankly a bad movie. I would suggest either renting this movie or buy it when it is in the bargain bin.
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on 29 November 2013
I just love happy endings. Sentimental No. This is one of those uncomplicated gay stories that make the world look beautiful and acceptable with no prejudices. A gentle laugh one we honestly enjoyed
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on 27 December 2013
French farce but it ultimately is not that funny. The silly plot doesn't add up. The main character Reuben is one-dimensional.
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on 7 February 2014
I'm a sucker for some gorgeous guys and this film did not disappoint. The storyline is good too. And I appreciated the sex scene too.
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on 11 February 2016
A nice light weight film with some good humour and some very good character studies. the central character Rueben if great fun and made me laugh on several ocassions
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