6.9/10
991
14 user 19 critic

Dry Cleaning (1997)

Nettoyage à sec (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 29 January 1999 (USA)
A bored couple takes in a young man who turns their lives inside out

Director:

Anne Fontaine
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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miou-Miou ... Nicole Kunstler (as Miou Miou)
Charles Berling ... Jean-Marie Kunstler
Stanislas Merhar ... Loïc
Mathilde Seigner ... Marylin
Nanou Meister Nanou Meister ... Yvette
Noé Pflieger Noé Pflieger ... Pierre
Michel Bompoil Michel Bompoil ... Robert
Christopher King Christopher King ... Steve
Gérard Blanc Gérard Blanc ... Bertrand
Betty Petristy Betty Petristy ... Madame Bertrand
Bobby Pacha Bobby Pacha ... Le patron Ranch
Corinne Nejman Corinne Nejman ... Josiane
Thérèse Gehin Thérèse Gehin ... Maryse
Joëlle Grégorie Joëlle Grégorie ... Travesti Banane
Pascal Allio Pascal Allio ... Les danseurs
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Storyline

Nicole and Jean-Marie Kunstler are a nice, hard working couple who have been married for 15 years. They operate a dry cleaning business that keeps them both too busy to take a vacation, or to change their routine. A fateful trip to a drag club leads them to encounter Loic and Marilyn, a brother-sister drag queen performing team. Their shows fascinate the couple, as both Nicole and Jean-Marie find themselves growing more and more attached to Loic. Loic brings to the surface all of their suppressed desires and emotions - willingly and unwillingly. A psychological examination into the effects one attractive young man's entrance into the lives of an ordinarily seeming couple could have. Written by Tracy <tjc217@is2.nyu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Spain

Language:

French | English | Russian

Release Date:

29 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dry Cleaning See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,919, 7 February 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$142,363, 7 November 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

J'ai un problème
Written by Michel Mallory
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User Reviews

 
Mesmerising theme music and interesting screenplay
17 March 2000 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

The mellow, mesmerising tune of the theme music by Edouard Dubois made me watch this movie twice while on a transcontinental flight. The music was only one reason among others that made me watch the film twice in four hours. I am a French film enthusiast and the contents of the film (latent homosexuality, guilt, cross dressing, etc.)were not out of the ordinary. What was striking in the film was the deliberate, structured screenplay that made me recall early works of Marcel Carne. I was not surprised to learn that the screenplay won an award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival and nominated for a Cesar in France.

The film's beginning and end revolve around affirmation of marital bonds, while the bulk of the film (to me only the sub-plot) ventures into transgression of those bonds followed by redemption. There is sadness at the end but it also accompanied by a silent studied reaffirmation of faith between man and wife. The final walk of the duo is an ordinary event yet captured powerfully in this film. I recommend this film to those who have not seen it not as a film that is extraordinary, but one which encourages viewers to introspect and look at ordinary lives, not of superheroes but of less than perfect men and women. The film succeeds because of low-keyed acting (Merhar and Miou-Miou), the sombre yet mesmerising music and good mise-en-scene. The film discusses "drycleaning" of two individuals' marital life, but the script and the director elevate the wife as strong personality with a level-headed strength developed quite unobtrusively as the film progresses. Anne Fontaine, the director, is someone to watch out for in the future as is Edouard Dubois. In more ways than one (direction, cinematography, the script) the film gives a woman's perspective of the story, though a wee bit sombre.


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