" Nobody goes into the valley of death. That’s why they call it the valley of death. "
— Grant Heslov, The Scorpion King

MRQE Top Critic

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Chloe goes through life in a state of vague dissatisfaction. Her social life is practically nonexistent. The only man she feels comfortable with is her gay roommate who is too wrapped up in his own life to meet her needs. Her one true friend is her cat Gris-Gris.

When Chloe takes a vacation (which lasts about five seconds screen time), she entrusts Gris-Gris to an animal lover named Madame Renee. She returns to find that, much to her distress, and Madame Renee’s, Gris-Gris is missing.

Much to Chloe’s surprise, Madame Renee is able to mobilize their Paris neighborhood in search of Gris-Gris. Chloe is aided by a network of old ladies, a simple-minded Arab named Djamel who likes her, and others, who try to spread the word.

The real star of this movie is Chloe’s neighborhood. It is ethnically diverse and inhabited by interesting characters, such as Madame Renee’s network of old ladies, many of whom were played by non-actors. Even though old buildings are being torn down and the old ladies are being evicted in the name of gentrification, the area hasn’t yet lost its heart. It is still a place where one can go into a bar and take comfort in the company of friends or pause in an outdoor market to listen to live folk music.

By the time Gris-Gris turns up, he has become a symbol of friendship and of a sense of community. We realize that Chloe didn’t have to look that hard to find either.