Liberally adapted from Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last Row, François Ozon’s piquant and playful In the House marks a return to the anarchic adolescent protagonists of the director’s early films, such as Criminal Lovers (1999), whose uncontrollable desires are inextricably linked with destruction and mayhem. Sixteen-year-old Claude (Ernst Umhauer) stirs the interest of his literature teacher, Germain (Fabrice Luchini), who’s perilously close to pedagogical burnout, with a well-crafted essay for a prosaic assignment about “My Last Weekend.” Claude details a Saturday spent helping a classmate with his math homework at his pal’s home; the budding wordsmith is intrigued by his friend’s close-knit family, particularly his mother (Emmanuelle Seigner). Germain, a failed writer whose sole novel was published twenty years ago, begins meeting with Claude after class, critiquing the boy’s further chapters about his infiltration of his schoolmate’s snug fortress. These ongoing installments Germain eagerly shares with his gallerist wife, Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas). In this sharp inquiry into the power of narrative, Ozon brings up a number of fascinating topics: what it means to be an artist and, perhaps more important, what it means to be an audience.
The seductions of storytelling drive In the House, a cleverly structured comic thriller rich with narrative trickery and macabre humor.
—Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Juan Mayorga, François Ozon, adapted from Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last Row
Germain: Fabrice Luchini
Caude: Ernst Umhauer
Jeanne: Kristin Scott Thomas
Esther: Emmanuelle Seigner
Rapha: Bastien Ughetto
International Critics’ Prize – Toronto International Film Festival (2012); Critics Special Mention – City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) French Film Festival (2013)
RUNNING TIME 105 min
PRODUCTION France, 2012
FORMAT(S) 35mm, DCP, Blu-ray, and DVD
Swank Motion Pictures
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