After several years of making films to please only himself, French director Jean-Luc Godard once more invites the audience to the party with The Detective. Not that there's anything so blase as a linear plot or appealing characters, but at least some of Godard's isolated vignettes are accessible this time around. Set in the Hotel Concorde at St. Lazare, the film is set in motion when miserably married Nathalie Baye and Claude Brasseur attempt to collect a debt from mob-plagued boxing manager Johnny Hallyday. Meanwhile, hotel detective Jean-Pierre Leaud tries to solve an old murder case. These two gossamer plot strands are used to tie together Godard's scattershot views on modern life, with emphasis on the voyeuristic potential of the recent video-camera boom. The director dashed off The Detective to raise money for a film he truly cared about, the controversial Hail Mary.
by Hal Erickson synopsis