Thursday, February 21, 2013

In the House (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)
In the House • Dans la maison (2012)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Director: François Ozon
Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet
Language: French
Duration: 105 min.
Rating: 7.9
Summary:
A high-schooler insinuates himself into the house of a fellow classmate and writes about his family in essays that blur the lines between reality and fiction for his jaded literature teacher.
In the House is a film directed by François Ozon, adapted from the play The Boy in the Last Row by Juan Mayorga. It premiered in the Special Presentations section of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI award. It also screened in competition at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Seashell for Best Film and the Prize of the Jury for Best Screenplay. It is nominated for 6 awards, including Best Film, at the 2013 César Awards.

Prolific and eclectic French director François Ozon has built a career on twisting and subverting genres to great effect. His films cover everything from extreme dark thrillers to comedic musical murder mysteries. This latest film subtly navigates across all the genre boundaries, deftly following the intriguing creative relationship between Germain (Fabrice Luchini), a long jaded high school French teacher, and his new found protege Claude (Ernst Umhauer), a quiet student who sparks Germain's zest for teaching with his imaginative essays about a classmate's family.

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

It's an intelligent, self aware, and ironic script that constantly blurs the storytelling lines, and draws some inspiration from his own previous films, especially Swimming Pool. Using Claude's, is it fact or is it fictional, story about his fellow classmate Rapha's (Bastien Ughetto) family as a central thread, Ozon strings the audience along on a densely layered mystery ride full of surprises and wit.

This is the kind of film where there is always a second or third meaning behind the dialog and imagery. Fortunately Ozon has it perfectly under control, never letting things get convoluted; and unlike some other recent films that take this route of fiction vs meta-fiction, this one doesn't ever make you feel like it's trying too hard to be clever.

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

Casting is spot on: with Luchini brilliant as the mentor who is irresistibly drawn into his student's web of ink; and young Umhauer is a great find, playing it with just the right amount of creepiness and charm at the same time; Kristin Scott Thomas makes a welcome appearance as Germain's, close to her wit's end, wife Jeanne; While Emmanuelle Seigner as Rapha's bored housewife mother Esther, serves delectably as the would-be author's object of desire.

Overall it's perhaps a little too tempered, lacking any of the sort of shocking material I like to see from Ozon, but it's still a highly enjoyable effort that's smart, razor sharp, and detailed enough to give a second watch.
Bonjour Tristesse
In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

In the House • Dans la maison (2012)

9 comments:

d_4 said...

I feel like I'm gonna miss out a little because I don't speak French, but it sounds perfectly watchable just the same.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Ozon is a relatively popular director so I'm certain this one will be available with English subtitles.

d_4 said...

Oh no, I mean the little things that get lost in translation. I was pretty sure subtitles would be available.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Ah yeah, for sure there will be some of that. But I think the dialogue in this film can be translated without losing very much; as opposed to something like Le Prénom where the words come fast and furious.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It seems we've a little club of Dans La Maison lovers :) Great review!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks! Yep, hopefully this club gets bigger.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

You can add me, loved this movie

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