Despite the reluctance of her husband Paul Myriam, the mother of two young children, decides to resume her activity in a law firm. The couple starts looking for a nanny. After a thorough interview process, they hire Louise, who quickly conquers the children's affections, and gradually occupies a central place in the family's home. But very quickly Louise's reactions became worrying. Everyone will gradually get caught in the trap of mutual dependence, until tragedy strikes.Written by
The nanny is par excellence evil: from "the omen" to "the nanny " to "to the hand that rocks the cradle" ,they are a nuisance to live with at home .
"Chanson douce " is actually closer to Claude Chabrol's "la cérémonie" ,based on Ruth Rendell 's absorbing novel ,which had spawned another (Canadian) version before .
The problem is that,not only Lucie Borteleau does not possess Chabrol's mastery ,but the main actress is left to her own devices ,with no other actor providing a credible counterpart :in "la cérémonie" ,servant Sandrine Bonnaire
was joined by green-grocer Huppert ,and both made a sensational pair.
Karine Viard is the ONLY reason why you would see this movie through ;one of the best contemporary French actresses,everything rests on her shoulders ;everything! a very complex woman ,she makes the viewer think she's irrational from her very first scene : she's too perfect, too nice ,too madonna-like ,too devoted ; little by little ,cracks appear in the mirror: she's so possessive she does not want HER children to play with the others in the park ; she urges the little girl to coax her parents into making a little baby; sometimes she may be almost frightening when she plays the wolf ;the actress is so gifted and so convincing one can wonder why her director felt compelled to introduce a "monster" crawling out of the sink !Filler indeed and too facile!
Unfortunately ,the other characters are cardboard : mom is ,as it is often the case ,if we are to believe the screenwriters ,a lawyer ,and she and mainly her hubby are totally bland ; there could have been an interesting issue when the man screams :"she's our employee",but the social relationship is only skimmed over ; the rich bourgeois's wasting -Louise is absolutely right,as far as the yogourts are concerned- might have fitted the "chanson douce" concept.But grandma ,whose favorite pastime is to play the fool with her grandchildren (to infuriate the nanny?),it takes the biscuit!the actress is so unbearable it's a blessing her screen time is short.If it weren't for Viard's performance , the movie would be devoid of any dramatic progression and the ending would not make any sense (and would not justify the mother's misgivings in the first scene.)
The novel on which the movie is based was awarded the Prix Goncourt 2016.
The movie is not worth a Cesar but I give an extra star to the movie , dedicated to Miss Viard .
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