Fabrice Luchini, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Menochet, Ernst Umhauer DIRECTED BY
Francois Ozon SCREENPLAY
Juan Mayorga (Play), Francois Ozon (Screenplay) MPAA RATING
Rated R RUNNING TIME
105 Mins. DISTRIBUTED BY
Cohen Media Group
"In the House" Hits the Arthouse Circuit
Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is a bored and pessimistic literary teacher who seems to take a bit of a dark delight in ravaging the papers written by his perpetually underachieving students until he stumbles across one by Claude (Ernst Umhauer), a seemingly talented young man whose prose has a voyeuristic quality about it that is both compelling literature and draws Germaine into the increasingly very real adventure.
Inappropriately, Germain begins share Claude's serial with his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), and both husband and wife are drawn into the drama even as they are rather hypocritically concerned about the story that's unfolding. On some weird and twisted level, In the House kept reminding me of a film starring Gael Garcia Bernal from a few years back called The King, though this film doesn't go near that direction and tends to more celebrate the intellectual chess match that seems to be unfolding where everyone believes they have themselves in control only to be completely and utterly blind to exactly what's going on and their role in it all.
Ernst Umhauer is quite good as Claude, projecting the perfect level of self-absorbed conceit without ever becoming a difficult character to really watch. As Germain, Fabrice Luchini rides that fine balance as a man who says one thing but often does quite the opposite. As the wife, Kristin Scott Thomas may very well offer the film's most rewarding performance as she's both dramatically involving and often quite funny. She continues to be one of the most under-appreciated actresses with multiple performances recently that have been stellar and award-worthy.
Philippe Rombi's score delights, while one must give kudos to the entire production team for creating an atmosphere that is simultaneously warm and deceptive.
In the House is currently on the arthouse circuit with U.S. distribution courtesy of Cohen Media Group. If you get a chance, definitely check it out.