This is basically a character study which is a specialty of Sautet. The more I see of his work, the more I think he was a master, especially in his direction of actors. I'll bet Lino Ventura has never come through so dimensionally as he does here. Sautet also has a gracefully low-key style that is very realistic and fresh. Renoir's influence (along with the Italian neo-realists) is clearly present.