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Promising start that descends into farce
on 18 April 2013
I guess it would be easier if the entire movie was a let-down; I could dismiss it as the case of "emperor's new clothes" seen so many times with certain directors. However the first half hour is genuinely intriguing, which makes the utter failure that follows more difficult to watch, and a failure more difficult to comprehend.
I enjoy movies that challenge us, that do not offer easy ways out or formulaic happy endings. However this movie doesn't challenge anyone; it simply loses the plot. Mr Ozon clearly bit off more than he could chew with this attempt at dissecting the delicate fabric of a "perfect" middle class family. A third in, the movie loses every sense of direction and can't decide whether it is a critique of the suburbia, a look at mental disorder, a study of a disintegrating marriage, all of the above, or something else.
I am not a fan of Ozon; the one movie of his I did enjoy was Potiche. A simple, fluffy, entertaining story with no attempts at art was perfectly acceptable--Potiche does what it says on the tin. With "In the house" we are promised one thing by the trailer (and many, many rave reviews in the press and on this site) and are presented with a muddle than even crème de la crème of French cinema, and the one and only Kristin Scott Thomas, could not make work.