15 January 2014

Best of 2013: #10. In the House (François Ozon)

#10. In the House (Dans la maison). François Ozon. France.

Following the international success of his first English-language feature, Swimming Pool, François Ozon’s output has been a curious mix of understated melodramas and playful farces. In the House fits somewhere in between and calls to mind the wickedness of the director’s earlier work, back when certain critics dubbed him the “garçon terrible” of French cinema. Winner of the top prize at the San Sebastián Film Festival, In the House stars Fabrice Luchini as a French teacher who enters a world of questionable ethics by encouraging a clever high school student (Ernst Umhauer) who begins writing episodic short stories of his plans to seduce a classmate’s beautiful mother (Emmanuelle Seigner) and shatter the bonds of this suburban family. Things naturally get hairier when the teacher’s wife, played by the always exceptional Kristin Scott Thomas, starts getting invested in the lurid stories.

In the House is available on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S. from Cohen Media Group and is currently streaming on Netflix. It is also available on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.K. from Entertainment One, and in France from France Télévisions Distribution.

With: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet, Bastien Ughetto, Jean-François Balmer, Yolande Moreau

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