Dominik Moll’s latest gives lemmings and women a bad name. The film, at first, suggests With a Friend Like Charlotte Rampling only to morph into some twisted version of Caché where the pretense is located not in any sort of high-minded aesthetic but in a ludicrously stretched metaphor. When a young engineer, Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas), invites his boss, Richard Pollock (André Dussollier), and wife to his house, art-house audiences are invited to marvel at the spectacle of a chilly Rampling jumping through hoops like some wild circus animal. Alice causes a stink about her husband’s extramarital philandering, throws wine in his face, and insults Alain’s wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg) before storming out of their home. A soap-operatic domino effect of deception, suicide, and adultery ensues that’s laughably conflated with Moll’s fucked-up notion that lemmings are like women in the sense that their mysterious, “difficult” behaviors (like, say, jumping off cliffs) have rational explanations that elude the human (mostly male) imagination. The film’s sexism is blinding but still stands to go unnoticed given how devilishly Moll disguises it beneath a boo-factory of cheap thrills only a dummy would call Hitchcockian. As if the absurd lemming-woman correlation and suggestion that adultery spreads between women like some metaphysical venereal disease weren’t insulting enough, Moll veers the story into abstruse terrain where the audience comes to question what’s real and what’s imagined—a meaningless ploy that further muddles a dubious moral view of the world.
- Strand Releasing
- 129 min
- Dominik Moll
- Dominik Moll
- Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, André Dussollier
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