What: Dans la Maison (In the House)
When: Tonight, 6:45
Where: Empire Capitol 6
Rating: Three stars (out of five)
Art house voyeurism fuels Francois Ozon’s intriguing, talky and increasingly surreal low-key psychological thriller about a manipulative high school student, Claude, who infiltrates a middle-class household by offering to tutor his more affluent classmate Rapha. Claude’s serialized accounts are in response to an assignment from his jaded, predatory literature teacher Germain, a failed novelist who lives vicariously through his creative student’s adventures he obsessively attempts to influence, including Claude’s seduction of Rapha’s attractive, bored mother (Emmanuelle Seigneur). No less frustrated is Germain’s wife (an almost unrecognizeable Kristin Scott Thomas, speaking perfect French), curator of an erotic art gallery, for reasons that are eventually unveiled as Ozon blurs the line between reality and fantasy. Imbued with snippets of symbolism, homoeroticism and even a nod to Rear Window, this darkly comic, playfully challenging film eventually transcends its patience-trying opening scenes and overt self-awareness to become an artful mind-bender for fans of subversive humour.
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