Thursday, August 01, 2013

In The House

Even if you were a discontented middle age school teacher saddled with the worst class you have had the misfortune to timetabled for, being married to Kristin Scott Thomas should cheer you up n'est-ce pas?

Apparently not if you are the perpetually dour Germain, whose already low opinion of French teenagers is lowered further by marking essays on the topic of "what I did this weekend". Except an intriguing effort by Claude Garcia, where he describes visiting his new friend Rapha with particular attention to Rapha's mother and finishing with "to be continued". Claude is as good as his word and further episodes are forth coming and Germain starts giving extra tuition and ambiguous messages which Claude rightly interprets as encouragement to continue his voyeuristic invasion of Rapha's home and his infatuation with "the most bored woman in France". This is not going to end well as Claude takes advantage of Germain's eagerness for more episodes and with the amoral Claude in charge Germain's job and life are in jeopardy.

I'm sure school teachers will identify with the detail of school life from a teacher's point of view in the first half of In the House. The second half with conflict between pupil and teacher and between Claude and Rapha's family is part comedy and part psychological mystery. The ending is the weakest part where after the dust has settled Claude and Germain meet up again.

Ian's rating 4/5  Anne's rating 2.5/5

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