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On a hot day in a highway gas station men's room, a man Michel doesn't recognize says they went to school together. He's Harry. He suggests they have a drink, so he and his girlfriend follow Michel and his family to their summer place. Michel is amazed when Harry quotes from memory a poem Michel wrote in school. Harry thinks Michel is a great writer, and he's distressed that Michel hasn't written in years. Harry stays awhile (since his father's death, he's a man of leisure) and sets out to eliminate distractions that might keep Michel from writing. First he buys Michel a car (with air conditioning) and then suspicious things happen. Michel picks up a pen, Harry is gratified, but he's not finished being Michel's self-appointed patron. Written by
There is something alarming and off-kilter about Harry from the moment we meet him; his casual way of speaking about orgasms and forgotten childhood poems to (essentially) complete strangers just a few hours after their first meeting only intensifies our suspicions. Sergi Lopez gives a brilliantly unnerving yet subtle performance as Harry, and he's the best reason to see the film. But not the only one. The director is able to present characters, situations and family tensions that are thoroughly believable, thereby drawing us deeply into the story. The acting is first-rate, the camerawork excellent; what the film needed to help it move into the realm of "great" was a little more snap. (***)
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