12 items from 2012
How to describe Francois Ozon’s In the House… Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is a teacher of literature, critical of his pupils except for the one student – Claude (Ernst Umhauer) – who’s just written a voyeuristic document about his new friend Rapha (Bastien Ughetto) as his French assignment. Germain questions Claude’s critical depiction of his friend’s family home, but gets drawn into Claude’s increasingly fanciful stories from ‘in the house.’ Germain starts to influence Claude’s writing, recommending changes to passages of the story, but these recommendations may be impacting on Claude’s treatment of Rapha, his doting father (Denis Menochet) and bored mother (Emmanuelle Seigner) within their home.
Layered and metatextual to the extreme, In the House (based on a play by Juan Mayorga) must have been a complicated film to assemble. At times it descends into Pedro Almodovar territory, bored of its own plot, bored of its characters, »
- Brogan Morris
Francois Ozon’s previous film, “Potiche,” was a fun and frothy effort, and while it was undeniably beautifully composed and performed, it was arguably also a little inconsequential. Ozon approaches the structurally more ambitious “In the House” from a more devious and darkly comic perspective, yet despite this approach sustaining intrigue for much of the 105 minute running time, there’s still a sneaking suspicion once things are done that once again it doesn’t amount to very much. Adapted from Juan Mayorga’s play “El chico de la ultima fila,” Ozon’s script is told largely from the perspective of the world-weary teacher and failed novelist Germain (Fabrice Luchini), whose interest is piqued after reading a student’s writing assignment. The student in question is Claude (a superbly self-assured Ernst Umhauer), who has written a mischievous essay about finally making it into the bourgeois home of a classmate »
- Joe Cunningham
In the House (French: Dans la maison), 2012.
Directed by François Ozon.
A sixteen-year-old student befriends a classmate and writes stories about his family, leaving his tutor compelled by his great work. However, the student’s writing leads to a series of events that change everyone’s lives.
There seems to be a postmodern prevalence in films these days to tell a story which is actually about stories. Rango. Seven Psychopaths. The Prestige. All recent (-ish), all great films, and they all to different extents comment on filmmaking and story telling. In the House takes that as its main priority and creates a bonkers story that is confusing and yet makes sense at the same time. It is, not to put it lightly, a master class in storytelling. It’s a story about a story, that uses »
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
François Ozon’s latest work adapts Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last Row, centred on the bizarre friendship between a jaded high-school literature teacher, Germain (Fabrice Luchini), and one of his precocious students, Claude (Ernst Umhauer). Wryly funny and benefiting from a jaunty – if slightly repetitive – score, Ozon’s film pits Claude’s fierce intelligence and ability to infiltrate the virulently middle-class family of a classmate, Rapha (Bastien Ughetto) against Germain’s professional inadequacy and middle-class satisfaction. When Claude begins writing about Rapha’s life for a school assignment, Germain is transfixed, becoming a literary critic, and along with his pretentious, art curator wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), examining the merits of what might be a slice-of-life work of naturalism, a class satire, or something insidiously in-between.
Such is true of the film itself; its dual narrative begins naturalistically, serving as a potent satire of the self-important, »
- Shaun Munro
★★★★☆ François Ozon follows up the camp charm of Potiche (2010) with In the House (2012) - a delightfully droll tale of suburban voyeurism with a dark comic twist. Germain (Fabrice Luchini in impeccable comic form) is a childless English teacher who has grown increasingly disenfranchised at the appalling literary skills of his students. That is until one day, whilst grading a collection of predictably appalling 'What I did last weekend' essays, he discovers Claude (Ernst Umhauer), whose curious tale of how he infiltrated the suburban home of a middle class family quickly escalating into a series of enthralling essays.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
Based on The Boy in the Back Row by Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga, Francois Ozon’s latest is something of a return to form for the former enfant terrible and a deliciously witty story about storytelling.
Weary literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) finds a diamond in the rough in Claude (Ernst Umhauer), who shows real flair in a writing assignment set by Germain. Despite being asked by Germain to simply write about what he did that weekend Claude manages to turn a few hundred words into a fascinating glimpse into the private life of the family of one of his school friends and in doing so weave the beginnings of a very absorbing story. The one page story ends with the line “to be continued…”, which helps, along with the deviously generated content, to immediately hook in Germain, his wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) who he reads it to, and most importantly the wider audience, »
- Craig Skinner
David here, heralding the return of the BFI London Film Festival – Craig and I are back again, and we’ll be bringing you various updates across the next two weeks. The 56th festival kicked off last night with the European premiere of Frankenweenie, but my first round-up post has more of a Francophile feel to it…
With Rust & Bone, director Jacques Audiard is still in the business of tempering abrasive, down-on-their-luck characters in the French banlieues with a style that smears the poetic and the aggressive into one confrontational melting pot. It seems to be part of Audiard’s intention to throw severe miserablism at his audience just to see if they can survive. Still, such a vibrantly aggressive film with a charged sense of the physical is a rare thing, and Audiard works to balance the lead performances by Marion Cotillard »
Director: François Ozon
Running time: 105 minutes
Plot: A depressed literature teacher has his enthusiasm reignited by the voyeuristic and unsettling writing of a mysterious and brilliant student. As teacher and pupil confer, the line between reality and fiction blurs as the boy works his way into the lives of a middle class family, all for the sake of a good story.
Dans La Maison is exactly how the average punter imagines French cinema to be; cerebral, philosophical, artistic and not for fans of Michael Bay. And that is a very high compliment indeed. Ozon’s latest is a frothy yet complex piece that explores the nature of narrative, perception and reality. And it’s funny too.
- John Sharp
As the San Sebastian Film Festival drew to a close, there was — as there should be with festivals that want to thrive — a sense of honoring the past and looking to the future.
The week had been studded with Hollywood star appearances, from Ewan McGregor becoming the youngest ever actor to win a Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award to 75-year-old Dustin Hoffman tearfully collecting his Donostia on Saturday. Thanking the festival for honoring the art form of cinema, he told the packed Kursaal auditorium: “The feeling that you gave me is as important as the award.”
But there was also a sense of new talent coming up. From the first-time outings in the Kutxa-New Directors Award — the 90,000 euro ($115,600) prize for which is the biggest on offer at any film festival — won by Fernando Guzzoni’s Carne De Perro, to the continued strength of the Cinema in Motion section, which will help »
- Amber Wilkinson
Write On: Ozon’s Latest an Exercise in Authorial Manipulation
The steadily working Francois Ozon continues with his playful dark comic streak in his latest, In the House, an adaptation of a play by Juan Mayorga. A thriller with literary machinations, not unlike Swimming Pool (2003), one of Ozon’s most well known features, his latest is a low key narrative, one that starts out as a broad caricature loosely criticizing class ideals but then coils tightly to an introspective finale on manipulation and a cheeky exploration of the truth.
French teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is all set to start another school year after spending a leisurely summer reading. The new school year is beginning with some major changes, namely that all students will now be required to wear school uniforms, a concept Germain disagrees with, as this is seen as a move to make all the students equal when on the premises. »
- Nicholas Bell
Directed by François Ozon
French director François Ozon has been working steadily albeit fairly quietly for over two decades, striking the occasional hit with films like 8 Women and Swimming Pool. His latest effort In the House has the potential to be another one of Ozon’s sleeper hits. The film tells the story of French Literature teacher Germain Germain who becomes enamored with the writing of one of his students in particular, shy boy-in-the-last-row Claude (Ernst Umhauer). Claude’s weekly assignments detail his exploits within the house of a fellow student. Germain becomes more and more involved in Claude’s narrative and soon helps Claude set in motion a series of events that impacts both Claude’s story as well as the lives of student, teacher and the people around them.
This tightly written and structured »
- Laura Holtebrinck
In the House Francois Ozon is this year's example of show, don't tell. While fellow fest selection Writers continually shouted its writerly premise within the dialogue, Ozon's In the House (Dans la Maison) simply is a writer's story. Fabrice Luchini plays Germain, a withered teacher sick at the increasingly diminishing returns offered by his students until one, Claude (Ernst Umhauer), breaks through the monotony, turning a "what I did on my Saturday" assignment into the beginning of a captivating voyeuristic tale. Against his better judgment, Germain takes Claude under his wing, stubbornly ignoring all the problematic aspects of the rapidly growing novel, a story recounting the student's obsession with classmate Rapha's house and mother...
- Monika Bartyzel
12 items from 2012
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