French twist on re­al­ity

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

In the House.

DE­SPITE prom­ises to be a so­cial satire with a flash of Hitch­cock­ian men­ace, di­rec­tor Fran­cois Ozon’s In The House grad­u­ally turns into a rou­tine thumb-sucker on re­al­ity ver­sus fic­tion. The ever-bril­liant char­ac­ter ac­tor Fabrice Lu­chini and the ever-brit­tle Kristin Scott-Thomas play a mar­ried cou­ple, frus­trated by their at­tempts to have a mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ship with art. He is a high school lit­er­a­ture teacher who yearns to il­lu­mi­nate Flaubert for semi-lit­er­ate stu­dents while she works in an art gallery that fails to ex­cite the pub­lic with its would-be, edgy dis­plays. Life be­comes much more in­ter­est­ing for both of them when they start read­ing the sto­ries of one of his stu­dents, Claude (Ernst Umhauer), who is us­ing his class as­sign­ments to de­liver a riv­et­ing run­ning com­men­tary on his re­la­tion­ship with the fam­ily of a dull-wit­ted fel­low stu­dent. Soon Ger­main (Lu­chini) is so caught up in Claude’s se­rial that he lies and even steals a math test to keep the tale go­ing. Di­rec­tor Fra­nois Ozon, adapt­ing a play by Juan May­orga, ini­tially keeps a pleas­ing bal­ance of hu­mour and sus­pense, leav­ing us guess­ing whether he’s head­ing for farce or thriller. The an­swer is nei­ther as In The House trick­les to a close with­out say­ing much ex­cept that sto­ry­tellers can be tricky.

– KYLE SMITH, New York Post

In The House opens to­day.

Fabrice Lu­chini in a scene from

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