Watch This: A grim arthouse director made a comeback by embracing self-parody

Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This month: The A.V. Club atones for its sins of omission, recommending the best movies of the year that we didn’t review.

Li’l Quinquin (2014)

Bruno Dumont’s 1999 Cannes prizewinner Humanité is notorious for its intensely slow pace, overtones of religious allegory, and unsettling close-ups of the body of a raped and murdered child. But it’s also set up exactly like an offbeat mystery novel, complete with an eccentric, memorably named, creature-of-habit detective (Lt. Pharaon De Winter of the Bailleul police), small-town setting, and sense of regional flavor. It’s a movie that the French filmmaker—once hyped as the next big confrontation artist of the European arthouse, and still prone to saying things like “My work is all about transfiguration” in interviews—has never managed to equal, instead …

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