7.3/10
13,238
63 user 83 critic

Read My Lips (2001)

Sur mes lèvres (original title)
She is almost deaf and he lip-reads. He is an ex-convict. She wants to help him. He thinks no one can help except himself.

Director:

Jacques Audiard
7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Cassel ... Paul
Emmanuelle Devos ... Carla
Olivier Gourmet ... Marchand
Olivier Perrier ... Masson
Olivia Bonamy ... Annie
Bernard Alane ... Morel
Céline Samie ... Josie
Pierre Diot Pierre Diot ... Keller
François Loriquet François Loriquet ... Jean-François
Serge Onteniente Serge Onteniente ... Mammouth (as Serge Boutleroff)
David Saracino David Saracino ... Richard Carambo
Christophe Vandevelde Christophe Vandevelde ... Louis Carambo
Bô Gaultier de Kermoal Bô Gaultier de Kermoal ... Le Barman
Loïc Le Page Loïc Le Page ... Quentin
Nathalie Lacroix Nathalie Lacroix ... L'Employée ANPE
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Storyline

Young secretary Carla is a long-time employee of a maryam property development company. Loyal and hardworking, first to arrive and last to leave, Carla is beginning to chafe at the limitations of her career and is looking to move up. But as a 35-five-year-old woman with a hearing deficiency, she is not sure how to climb out of her humdrum life, though she is confident in her own abilities. Into her life comes Paul Angeli, a new trainee she decides to hire. Paul is 25 years old and completely unskilled, but Carla covers for him when the need arises because of his other qualities - he's a thief, fresh out of jail and very good-looking. It's a case of good meeting bad. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't believe everything you hear. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Carla sits down at the table with the baby on her arm, in the medium shot its head is turned right. After the cut to close-up it is turned left. See more »

Alternate Versions

UK distributor Pathe changed the subtitles (the film was only shown in its original French version with subtitles) to remove two uses of very strong language in order to qualify for a 15 rating. An uncut 18 was available. See more »

Connections

References Rear Window (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Goa Tribe
(Mark Carlos Blackwell)
(c) (p) EMI Music Publishing
See more »

User Reviews

 
An Engrossingly Original French Thriller
10 April 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

I settled back to watch "Read My Lips," a plate of Freedom Fries before me. The food was quickly forgotten as I became engrossed by director and co-writer Jacques Audiard's original and superb thriller.

Carla (Emmanuelle Devos) is a secretary at a firm that develops major building projects. She actually has some significant responsibilities that don't often fall to secretaries and she's capable and ambitious. And thwarted by a male hierarchy that will exploit but not reward her.

Work piling up faster than she can handle it, Carla is told to hire a secretary. Enter ex-con and general layabout Paul (Vincent Cassel). He lies about his skills and in fact has none that any legitimate enterprise might require. After an initial serious misunderstanding by Paul as to Carla's interest in him, the two become allies. A quirky friendship starts. In a stunt that would have made a real Carla a major contender on "The Apprentice," she trumps her egotistic male adversary at work with Paul's connivance. Exit the rival.

Carla is virtually deaf without her hearing aid. With it she hears almost normally. She turns the hearing aid off to isolate herself from unpleasant sounds and annoying people. She's also very lonely. A heroic makeup effort was made to have her appear plain but she's truly beautiful. She hasn't a boyfriend. She babysits so a friend can have a liaison (it IS a French movie) Worse and humiliatingly, she accedes to a girlfriend's plea that she hang out somewhere while that married friend has it off with her paramour in Carla's bed. Not nice.

As Carla and Paul get to know each other better, the barely repressed larcenous side of the not so former felon emerges. There's a side story, by the way, of Paul's relationship with his parole officer which neatly complements the main plot and has its own big surprise ending.

"Read My Lips?" Ingenious Paul recognizes that Carla's ability to read lips, even from a considerable distance, is more than the amusing parlor trick it first seems to be.

From there a caper develops. Enough said.

Paul and Carla are a true criminal oddball couple. She wants love but will also accept money. He wants her, sort of, but business must come before possible erotic satiation. Together Cassel and Devos are strong actors carrying an unusual crime tale to its end very convincingly.

Rent it or buy it but if you enjoy a good crime story you'll go for "Read My Lips." And you may well want to watch it several times: I do.

9/10


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

26 July 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Read My Lips See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF49,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,080, 7 July 2002

Gross USA:

$1,471,911

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,393,526
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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