Laurent Cantet stands alongside Michael Haneke as a director who looks at some of the most important themes in modern life, turning his attention to the the sex trade for older women and exploitation of young men in Haiti, the problems of inner city schools, and, in Time Out and Human Resources, the problems of employment and what it means in a person's life. Like Haneke, you can recognise his style instantly, but this film, which was the first of the four, I think, is the one I like best, and is, in a way, the least depressing, although it is still quite depressing! What it does do is present you with a compelling analysis of a factory and the relationship between a father, who works on the factory floor, and his son, who has been through a grande ecole and is a trainee for a limited period at the same factory. The pressures on the son, his integrity and his feeling for his family, put him in an impossible situation and he becomes more and more fraught after a promising start. Really there are no easy solutions to his inner tensions but they are superbly dramatised in a documentary style that brings into conflict social classes, the value of work, self-esteem and progress in a challenging and brilliant screenplay. It is also very moving at times, with Jalil Lespert ideal for the role. His handsome face helps a film which is not concerned very much with aesthetics, but this aspect does help, a bit like Montgomery Clift in I Confess. The father is also extremely good in his taciturn, dogged way, and the final scenes of the film are utterly heartbreaking.