This magnificent film is the second to be directed by Lauren Cantet who, on the evidence of this and his cinematic debut "Human Resources" (now thankfully also available in the UK), must surely rank as the most talented director working in France today. It's hard to think of another director, past or present, who forges such consummate art from the subject of work and the workplace.
The film draws some of its inspiration from a sensational real-life case, but effectively removes the more violent and melodramatic aspects of that tale to create something more considered, affecting and cooly intelligent. Rather than reveal any of the plot (which would lessen the impact of the film), it suffices to say that it is gripping, though-provoking and so beautifully filmed that the 129 minutes pass very quickly.
The performances are superb, especially Aurélien Récoing in the lead role who is completely convincing in what is a difficult role to pull off, but achieves volumes of expression with the merest facial tick or body movement.
The DVD is excellent; in addition to superb sound and picture quality there is a text interview with the director which provides a good deal of useful context to the film, and an interesting filmed interview with Laurent Cantet which focuses on this film and his earlier (made for TV) feature "Les Sanguinaires".
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