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Ciné : In the house (Dans La Maison)
François Ozon follows the glorious camp of Potiche with this superbly controlled, coolly ironic adaptation of Juan Mayorga’s play ‘The Boy in the Last Row’.
High-school literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) lives a beige, repetitive life; his despair at the state of contemporary education has given way to apathy and he is barely conscious of his curator wife’s (Kristin Scott Thomas) boredom. Unexpectedly, he discovers a student in his class whose compelling sense of prose and voyeuristic eye for detail stir his long dormant enthusiasm for his work. The daring and talented Claude (Ernst Umhauer) inveigles his way into the lives of a petit-bourgeois family, developing a particular fascination with the mother (Emmanuelle Seigner), and serialises his encounters in essay form under the increasingly voracious guidance of Germain. As Claude’s incursions become more audacious, the ground imperceptibly shifts, and the borders between reality and fiction become indistinguishable.
Both a knowing ode to the art of storytelling and a scathing class critique, In the House sees Ozon return to the territory of Water Drops on Burning Rocks and Swimming Pool, not only in the precision of his form, but also in his flagrant admiration for the disruptive intruder with ambiguous desires. (Clare Stewart, LFF programme)
- François Ozon
- France 2012
- 105 minutes
- Rated 15 – Contains strong language and sex and a scene of hanging
- Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet.
French with English subtitles