World War One has been enjoying something of a vogue recently and not least in French Cinema, which on balance is currently the best in the world. Only a couple of years ago we had the superb Les Ames Grises and a couple of years before that Francois Dupeyron adapted a best-selling novel into this wonderful movie. Following a brief scene-setting sequence in which the leading man, Eric Caravaca, is shown to be flawed, he is badly wounded whilst on a recce to find a suitable spot to build a bridge. The ordinariness of this - as opposed to wounds sustained in actual combat - serves to accentuate his terrible facial injuries which are so bad that for the next hour of screen time we see only the reactions of others rather than a head-on shot of his face. The pace is slow, stately even and none the worse for that although they'll give it short shrift in the Multiplexes, and Dupeyron succeeds in drawing us in to this singular world where eventually Caravaca is joined by three other officers with similar wounds. The acting is beyond praise but then so it should be with actors of the caliber of Sabine Azema, Andre Dussollier, Denis Podalydes and relative newcomer Gregoire Derangere who has since done sterling work in Bon Voyage, L'Equippier and Le Passagere d'Ete. As anti-war statements go this belongs right alongside La Grande Illusion, Paths Of Glory, All Quiet On The Western Front, in other words, amongst the cream.