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Film / The Mystery Of Henri Pick

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The Mystery of Henri Pick (Le Mystère Henri Pick) is a French comedy from 2019 directed by Rémi Bezançon, based on the novel by David Foenkinos.

While visiting a small town, Daphné Despero, who works for a publishing company, hears about a library of a special kind: it features a collection of rejected books, that failed to be published. As she visits that library, most books look very bad, but she finds a very interesting one. The author is Henri Pick, a pizza chef from a local restaurant who died two years ago. In fact his widow isn't aware that he would write, but an old typewriter is found in the restaurant's cellar.

Daphné manages to have the book published; it is quite successful.

Jean-Michel Rouche (Fabrice Luchini), a famous critic, doubts that Henri Pick wrote the book. He causes a scandal on television then searches for the real author. Surprisingly, Joséphine Pick (Henri's daughter) ends up helping him.


The Mystery of Henri Pick contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Bad Liar: As a critic, Jean-Michel is approached by a young writer who wants to know what he thought of his first book. Jean-Michel claims to have read it, but lies poorly about that.
  • Bookends: In the end a new book is shown to have been placed in the library of rejected books.
  • Bookworm: Most characters, especially Jean-Michel, are very literate.
  • Creator Career Self-Deprecation: Fred (Daphné's boyfriend) in an unsuccessful novelist.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: As the characters travel repeatedly between Paris and Crozon, the Terenez Bridge is shown on three occasions. And of course there is a shot of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jean-Michel keeps saying that Henri Pick didn't write the book, which is not very kind to Pick's widow and daugter.
  • Advertisement:
  • Meaningful Name: Pick.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Based on a novel about writers, publishers, critics and literature in general.
  • One-Hour Work Week:
  • Red Herring: Several of Jean-Michel's theories are proved wrong.
  • Shout-Out: Many authors are referenced, especially Alexander Pushkin.
  • Show Within a Show: Several fictional books appear. In particular Henri Pick's is a novel about Alexander Pushkin's romantic life.
  • Sidekick: Joséphine helps Jean-Michel investigate. At some point he calls her his doctor Watson (although she is not The Watson), claiming to be Holmes.


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