Saturday, January 25, 2014
IN THE HOUSE (2012)
Written & Directed By: Francois Ozon
Based on the play "El chico de la última fila" By: Juan Mayorga
Cinematography By: Jerome Almeras
Editor: Laure Gardette
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Menochet
A sixteen-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher. Faced with this gifted and unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers his enthusiasm for his work, but the boy's intrusion will unleash a series of uncontrollable events.
I looked or ward to the film from seeing the preview usually before films I would see at Lincoln plaza cinemas when I was watching films such and THE SKIN I LIVE IN and DAMSELS IN DISTRESS. Unfortunately I kind of forgot about it and would remember it once in a while. Luckily I saw it recommended on Netflix instant and foot to watch it. Most of the scenes I looked forward to from the trailer aren't until the 3rd act.
This is a compelling movie that builds with each minute and detail. That lends itself to becoming claustrophobic as the action takes place mainly in the house or indoor locations.
Eventually the tale reveals a bit about each character little by little and moment by moment. Though not in a grand fashion. As each minute passes it drags us deeper into the story.
It is like reading a oil as each new detail or chapter drags us in and makes us care the rising suspense and relationships.
As the film moves along it starts off by seeming to be more of a lite drama even lending itself to a coming of age story. Before it begins to hint at becoming a thriller.
Is like a choose your own adventure film. Where the characters make the decisions, hit at least offer you the variety of twists and turns that could happen in the film.
At times the film feels a bit manipulative, but unfounded I enjoyed it though confusing at first it reminded me of things tried in films like savages and domino to much lesser effect in those films works here with the story telling. It makes you question what is real and what isn't
I also enjoyed that throughout the film it really teaches you the art of writing the rules of it or at least telling a story and making it compelling.
Kristin Scott Thomas plays a role in this film and it amazes me that she is British and made a career in American and English cinema and I am guessing because of a lack of good or worthwhile roles seems to have reinvented herself in European cinema as she speaks French fluidly and believably.
Germain focuses only on the story, So much that he gets lost in it as his attention is distracted away from life. It falls around him. As he seems to take delight in coaching someone he sees as a younger version of himself away from his settled lifestyle. Just like the rest of the characters little is told to us about him. Though as the story goes he is revealed. Even though he is one of our main protagonist. He comes Into the film clean.
The last shot sums up the film and shows that with any situation you can create your own story to the actions in front of you. All you have to do is make it interesting and you can find an audience to play to and usually you beg your own interest and views into it. Though you can just try to please your audience. That proves impossible as you can never satisfy everyone and might get mad at you for pandering to them if not your first work.
I chalk it up to another great film by Francois Ozon. Whose films always are experimental as each new film he sets forth to make sure, It's not like any of his other films. I can say they are never boring. Usually challenging. Not for everyone. He has made musicals, mysteries, thrillers and you can barely tell it's the work of the same man. He is truly becoming one of my favorite living French directors as so far I find something to keep my interest and enjoy in each of his films.
Both Director François Ozon's parents were teachers.