It’s a snapshot of an gently impoverished and also happy life -- set in a timeless world where records are played on record players, the town appears to be one large set, and the interiors of bars and apartments show not a single modern trace. And yet, the palette of the film, shot in technicolor, is extra bright. It is a life that is marked by two major events. First, Marx discovers young Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) hiding beneath the docks, eluding capture from the police. Then, his beatific wife enters the hospital for what appears to be a deadly illness - though she reassures her husband that she will be fine.
Le Havre is surprisingly suspenseful. One sad and gentle police officer (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) diligently follows Marx, in pursuit of the boy. Marx’s devoted wife Arletty instructs him to visit in two weeks time with her favorite dress -- but will she be still alive to wear it?