A Savory Psychodrama


Dominik Moll’s new film is a patient, savory psychodrama, fueled with domestic anxiety, spooky rhythms, and unsettled reaction shots. Hotshot techie Alain (Laurent Lucas), setting up house with his childless gamine of a wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg), are beset by impactions and disturbances, including a neighbor slapping his kid in the street and a stubborn kitchen sink clog, which turns out to be a semi-drowned lemming. When the boss comes over for dinner with his steely, beshaded wife (Charlotte Rampling), the young couple is set up for cataclysm, which comes, big time: infidelities, suicide, personality swap, an overall assault on the complacenies of marriage. Only the portentous music is in any way Hitchcockian; Moll’s mystery achievement instead heads subtly into Lynch country, especially via a video feed from a motorized sewer camera, trucking into the secret darkness under every street. It might’ve all been an exercise if it weren’t for Lucas, whose chiseled Daniel Day Lewis–ness is a high-contrast foil to the actor’s phenomenal ability to radiate horror without moving a muscle. With only a theatrical trailer.