Coup de Tete is a sort-of-about-sports film set in contemporary France. Francois Perrin is a quick-tempered mill worker whose independence at work and on the local soccer team creates problems for him. Out of work and restless, he gets into deep trouble when his mistress rejects him and he is picked up by the police for the rape of one of the town's richest women.
In his second film venture, director Jean-Jacques Annaud (Black and White In Color) has drawn a superb performance from Patric Dewaere (Get Out Your Handkerchief, The French Detective). As the hothead, the physically expressive actor radiates a sexual élan, which makes him attractive to women and threatening to men. The role capitalizes on this dynamic as Francois is called out of prison to almost single-handedly help the ailing soccer team with a big game. Along the way the townsfolk make him into a hero. Wielding the power of his new status, he proves his innocence in a rape case and then sets up a nifty scheme of revenge against those who had wronged him.
Coup de Tete offers a breezy portrait of a small town morality which is both hypocritical and repressive. And it presents in an appealing way the downfall of the self-righteous.