In Samba, as in their last crowd-pleaser Les Intouchables, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano know how to see the bright side of a bad situation.

The jokes consistently hit their mark, while never detracting from the darkness of the timely and politically charged subject matter.

Unfortunately, the film can’t keep up its momentum: after a promising first half it meanders for an hour or so before finally coming to a stop. The endlessly charming Omar Sy is on top form here, but Charlotte Gainsbourg’s love interest is too scattershot for the two to have any sort of meaningful connection.

It’s certainly not the heart-warming triumph that Les Intouchables was, but another winning turn from Omar Sy is reason enough to enjoy this optimistic comedy/drama.



CAST: Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim, Izïa Higelin, Isaka Sawadogo, Youngar Fall

DIRECTORS: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano

WRITERS: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (screenplay), Delphine Coulin (novel)

SYNOPSIS: Fate draws Samba (Sy), a Senegalese migrant willing to do whatever it takes to get French working papers, and Alice (Gainsbourg) together.