Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. France, 2005. Diaphana Films, France 3 Cinema, Canal+, CineCinema, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Region Ile-de-France, Soficinéma. Screenplay by Dominik Moll, Gilles Marchand. Cinematography by Jean-Marc Fabre. Produced by Michel Saint-Jean. Music by David Whitaker. Production Design by Michel Barthelemy. Costume Design by Virginie Montel, Isabelle Pannetier. Film Editing by Mike Fromentin. Cannes Film Festival 2005.
It’s a strange occurrence when the titular Scandinavian rodent finds its way into the drain pipe of a French home owned by happy couple Laurent Lucas and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Things get even weirder when they have his boss (André Dussollier) over for dinner, along with his resentful wife (a deliciously venomous Charlotte Rampling) who spews hatred at Dussolier in front of their hosts and is very quickly taken away. A few days later, Rampling has a private encounter with both members of the young couple, exits the frame and Lucas returns (quite disastrously) from a work conference to find that his wife’s personality is just a little bit…swapped? It’s a wonderfully tricky plot, combining elements of Hitchcock’s suspense with David Lynch weirdness, but for all of its rich imagery and deeply emotional performances there should be a lot more pleasure taken in the enigma here. It doesn’t quite wrap you up in the spell of mystery that Kieslowski or even Jonathan Glazer’s Birth would have imposed upon the criminal mayhem, but it is satisfying and Gainsbourg is a treat to watch throughout.