In France’s ‘Moka,’ a mother seeks revenge for son’s death

In France’s ‘Moka,’ a mother seeks revenge for son’s death - SFGate

In France’s ‘Moka,’ a mother seeks revenge for son’s death – SFGate Hollywood ever does a remake of “Moka,” it will be much different from the French original about a grieving mother who hunts down the couple she thinks is responsible for her son’s unsolved hit-and-run death. You could rightly call it a thriller, but a slow-burning one, and a film that’s driven by character, not plot points. […] enjoy the original, preferably in a theater, and revel in the rich, layered performances of veteran actresses Emmanuelle Devos and Nathalie Baye (men are incidental in this movie, another Hollywood no-no). Frustrated with the slow pace of the investigation on the part of the French police, Diane has hired a private investigator who turns up a promising lead — an eyewitness who saw a couple speeding away from the accident scene in a classic, coffee-colored Mercedes. Diane becomes a customer and strikes up a “friendship” with Marlene; meanwhile, without Marlene’s knowledge, she becomes an active bidder for the Mercedes, a sale being handled by Michel. Oh, and Diane, who has ensconced herself in an Evian hotel as this plays out, also buys a gun on the black market. Director Frédéric Mermoud keeps things moving smoothly, but happily he seems more interested in exploring Diane’s grief and her struggle to understand who her son was and could have been rather than the tired twists and turns we’ve come to expect from the modern thriller. […] although the movie is built around Devos’ performance, Baye makes her scenes count. G. Allen Johnson is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.