Since Luc granted a divorce to Pascale ten years ago, he paid generous alimony and left a fine country house as long as their twin sons remain at home. Pascale always acted as if she was ... See full summary »
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Since Luc granted a divorce to Pascale ten years ago, he paid generous alimony and left a fine country house as long as their twin sons remain at home. Pascale always acted as if she was the provider and head of the household, even now the inseparable brothers are twenty. But she started a secret affair with Flemish neighbor, cook Jan, whose ambition is to start a restaurant and B&B with her. As the boys learn she wants to cancel her job and sell the house for the project, college-man Thierry, who has a steady girl Anne, naturally refuses to let her spend dad's money meant for them. Gentler François, content to remain a handyman, would consider letting her and maybe working in the 'family business'. This causes trouble, even after Pascale moves out to Gerda's indefinitely, leading to tragedy. Written by
Isabelle Huppert, who has A-list directors standing in line to work with her is celebrated for her willingness to help new writer-directors by lending her name to attract finance and her presence on set to attract audiences. This can, of course, prove embarrassing - Josie Balasko's first directorial effort Sac de Noeuds didn't exactly set the screen alight but Huppert was right to see the promise which has since been kept over and over - but on the other hand it can result in something as delightful as Aleandra Leclerc's Les Soeurs fachees (Huppert has a new film with Leclerc, Les Mediaturs, in post-production even as we speak). She got it right this time, too, with Joachim Lafosse who probably wouldn't have got this one off the ground without Huppert. Real-life brothers Jeremie and Yannick Renier play Huppert's twin sons who live with her in what was the family home til Huppert divorced their father Patrick Descamps, who has remarried and lives within driving distance with his new wife and child. The French title Nue Propriete, is more specific, a French legal term in which a family member, usually an ex-spouse, is allowed to live in a house but has no legal right to ownership so that they cannot, for example, sell it or take in lodgers. This, in fact is the position in which Huppert finds herself and as it happens she does want to sell, move away with a neighbour/lover and open a B&B. This brings us to the twins, neither of whom appears to have any friends although one has a girl he uses as a sex-object. Long before we, the audience, enter the scene, the boys have become dominant, especially Jeremie Renier who thinks nothing of interrogating his mother daily, verbally abusing her and going through her bag. It goes without saying that her attempt to introduce her lover to the twins is a disaster. This is a cloistered, unhealthy family with Huppert thinking nothing of taking a shower openly whilst one son cleans his teeth two or three feet away; a great deal of screen time is given over to meals, traditionally a time when families come together in harmony but not, of course, here. As usual Huppert gives a Master-Class in Screen acting but there isn't really a bad performance throughout. It's not exactly Feelgood but it is a fine film and worth anyone's time.
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