Rated NR 129 minutes 2006

Exhilaratingly anxious, Dominik Moll's film charts familiar territory, but does it with gravity, inventive iconography, and spooky rhythms; it's a savory psychodrama and a triumph of unsettled reaction shots. The comfortable affluence of an inventor (Laurent Lucas) and his gamine of a wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is beleaguered by, first, his boss (Andre Dussollier) and the man's semi-psychotic wife (Charlotte Rampling), and, second, by the metaphoric torque of a semi-living lemming found in their kitchen-sink drain pipe. Soon, suicide, could-be hauntings, lost consciousness, and betrayal follow. Moll's mystery achievement is all in the backbeats and portents, and is in the end less like Hitchcock than Lynch -- especially when we watch with Gainsbourg's opaque housewife a video feed from a motorized sewer camera, trucking into the secret darkness under every street. The film might've been merely an exercise if it weren't for Lucas, whose chiseled features are a high-contrast foil to his phenomenal ability to radiate horror without moving a muscle. In the end, Moll's film may be too neat, but the wallop of disquiet is delicious.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.diaphana.fr/fiche.php?pkfilms=131

Director: Dominik Moll

Writer: Giles Marchand and Dominik Moll

Producer: Michel Saint-Jean

Cast: Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, André Dussolier, Jacques Bonnaffé, Véronique Affholder, Michel Cassagne and Florence Desille



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