Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: Not Rated, but could be R for adult situations and sexuality. In French with English subtitles
Run Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Carla Bhem (Emmanuelle Devos) is a loyal, hardworking secretary at a successful property development company. She’s plain, trustworthy, and prone to taking on mountains of grunt work to prove her worth. Carla is also partially deaf. Like any ambitious 35-year old, Carla would like to ascend the corporate ladder, but feels restricted by her hearing disability.
Enter Paul Angeli (Vincent Cassel), an unskilled office trainee who happens to be a rootless, freshly-sprung-from-lockup thief. The straight-laced (and professionally victimized) Carla is instantly attracted to Paul’s bad-boy nature and sexy, unwashed charisma. Although Paul is trying to go straight, he reluctantly gives in when Carla turns to him for help with a sticky office situation. From that favor springs a fluid, thrilling mating dance of skills and flaws that may benefit both players.
This is a
film of striking unease, chronicling a mutually dependent relationship that
ever so slowly transforms itself into a cagey battle of wills. Cesar winner (French Oscar to you and me)
Devos and nominee