HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  In the House Schoolboy Report
Year: 2013
Director: François Ozon
Stars: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet, Bastien Ughetto, Jean-François Balmer, Yolande Moreau, Catherine Davenier, Vincent Schmitt, Jacques Bosc, Stéphanie Campion, Diana Stewart, Ronny Pong
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mr Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is a French teacher who despairs of the lack of imagination and initiative in his students. He set his pupils an assignment to write an essay about what they did over the weekend, and most of the responses he received were a few lines of garbage, briefly mentioning such activities as watching television or being bored because their mobile phone was confiscated. Germain laments to his wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) about the state of the future if that's the best the younger generation can come up with, but then he starts reading an essay by Claude (Ernst Umhauer)...

That essay details the boy's entrance into a middle class household whose lifestyle he has coveted, on the pretense of helping the son, Rapha Junior (Bastien Ughetto), with his maths homework. This is a lot more interesting to Germain, but is his captivation because he recognises a valid talent for writing in the sixteen-year-old, or is it because he is giving into an innate voyeuristic desire that we may all have to some degree or other? If it was the latter, then writer and director François Ozon had some news for you: spend too much time obsessing over the world of others and you neglect your own.

Not only that, but once you have introduced yourself into these walls by dint of your observation, the fact is you may not be able to stop, and that could very well be your undoing. As Claude goes further, penning reports on his activities in insinuating his way into the Rapha family to indulge his motives towards the mother, Esther (Emmanuelle Seigner), the more Germain wants to read the resulting essays, and to ensure this reportage is sustained he begins to manage the lives of others, telling himself he's doing this for purely academic reasons and to encourage the talents of Claude, but actually because he enjoys the illicit thrill of watching vicariously through his pupil's experience.

But there's a snag to all of this, because in the audience's role we are behaving just as Germain is, wanting more from Claude, which presumably makes Germain our surrogate in the story, except we are watching and judging his life just as he and his student are to the Artole clan. The snag being, we really only have Claude's word for it that this is all going on, so he may be an unreliable narrator, and more than that, Ozon may be the same, so what you were actually experiencing was a fiction which could just as easily be making a judgement on us as the characters were judging one another. Naturally, after a while you grow suspicious: exactly what is Claude up to?

According to his writings, he wants to get closer to Esther, so on one level this was paying tribute to Pier Paolo Pasolini, most obviously that old cultural touchstone Teorema, but Ozon, adapting a play by Juan Mayorga, was going further. This was not simply the tale of a young boy who enters a close-knit household and through his own mysterious desires turns it upside down - he doesn't even really do that, when you get down to it - but the story of a man who deluded himself into thinking he was acting intellectually when what he actually wanted was a good old fashioned gossip, and spying on an unknowing situation was the best way he could do so, kidding himself that he's not doing it in the first person so it must be acceptable. Of course, unless this is what you carry out in real life there's a difference between watching a film and eavesdropping on people, so you can tell yourself fiction is a more justifiable method of observing human behaviour, yet Ozon wondered aloud here, what's the difference? To which the answer would be, well, you started it, and this isn't a documentary. Music by Philippe Rombi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1783 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: