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by Christian Merret-Palmair


Willy Vanderbrook, a brilliant French Belgian who has become a citizen of the world, is approached about the job of concierge at one of Paris's great 5-star hotels. He is welcomed by Serge Luyperts, a childhood friend, a blasé café owner who has taken in his ex-brother-in-law Frank Vrut, a Walloon separatist who is slightly psychopathic. Willy's application - rejected because he's too Belgian - forces him and his compatriots to carrying out a ridiculous and "royally" vengeful deception. By pretending to be heir to the Belgian throne, Willy and his gang set off a series of joyful events in the 5-star establishment, which quickly grab the attention of Jessica, a professional schemer. She thinks she's seducing the future King of Belgium, but she has in fact met a craftier person than herself. This burlesque detonator then drags the "Made in the Flat Country" trio into a scam with more far-reaching and dangerous consequences.

international title: The Belgian Job
original title: Il était une fois, une fois
country: France, Belgium
sales agent: TF1 Studio
year: 2012
genre: fiction
directed by: Christian Merret-Palmair
film run: 95'
release date: BE 15/02/2012, FR 15/02/2012
screenplay: Matthieu Delaporte, Alexandre de La Patellière
cast: François-Xavier Demaison, Anne Marivin, Charlie Dupont, Jean-Luc Couchard, Abdelhafid Metalsi, Didier Flamand, Philippe Herisson, Xavier Lemaître
cinematography by: Régis Blondeau
film editing: Alice Moine
art director: Stéphane Taillasson
costumes designer: Anne Schotte
music: Kris Debusscher
producer: Dominique Farrugia
production: FEW (Farrudgia Entertainment Worlwide) - Barbés Films Compagnie
distributor: Belga Films SA, UGC Distribution

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