This fascinating meditation on class-based societal corruption begins when two affluent teens (Forneau and Lapeyre) lay their hands on a large denomination counterfeit bill and place it in circulation. Down the line, innocent messenger Yvon (Patey) is blamed for passing the bad money, ruining his marriage to Elise (Lang), and starting a tragic downward spiral that ends in murder.
In his last outing, octogenarian French director Bresson spins this frighteningly credible yarn with an astonishing economy of language and motion. With devastating precision, the film contrasts the ignorance and carelessness of the cosseted rich with the marginal existences of the working poor, illustrating how a single misfortune can sever an already tenuous ability to survive. Smart, sobering and vivid, "L'Argent" stands as a fitting conclusion to an extraordinary career.