Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
Original title: Nue Propriete
Luxembourg/Belgium/France, 2006. Tarantula, MACT Productions, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, Wallimage, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Sogécinéma 2, Cofinova 2, Fonds National de Soutien à la Production Audiovisuelle du Luxembourg, Région Wallonne. Screenplay by Joachim Lafosse, Francois Pirot. Cinematography by Hichame Alaouie. Produced by Joseph Rouschop. Production Design by Anna Falgueres. Costume Design by Nathalie du Roscoat. Film Editing by Sophie Vercruysse. Toronto International Film Festival 2006.
This excellent drama examines the nature of human obsession over ownership and property at the expense of relationships, and is riveting from start to finish thanks to superb direction and top-notch performances. Isabelle Huppert is typically brilliant as a single mother whose bitter divorce years earlier has left her in possession of a large country home in which she is still looking after her fully grown sons (real-life brothers Jérémie and Yannick Renier). She announces to her boys that she is considering switching gears, possibly selling the house and starting up a bed-and-breakfast business after years of taking care of her family, inspiring a reluctantly supportive response from one son and a violently selfish reaction from the other. The drama subtly crescendos from lazily intense to sharply horrific as self-interest and long-ignored past injuries eventually take over the way these characters relate to each other. Joachim Fosse has created an unforgettable film that doesn’t quit until the fascinating conclusion.