Low budget and modest film, this 'human interest' story easily held my attention - the focus being on a slice of the life of a 50-something husband - and father to a special-needs, late-teenage son. Set in an unnamed French town, he was a factory worker until the firm closed down, so he's then looking for a new job at a late stage of life, with especial reasons for needing one that pays adequately enough for him to finance the care work needed and ambitions of his limited-ability son. With his wife, with whom he has a still affectionate relationship (even though when we see them together, they hardly once speak directly to each other) the three of them get by, if only just, taking some recreation time in an adult dancing class. However, through their newly straitened circumstances, sale of their mobile home is necessary - in course of which, during one episode, a gradually heated exchange takes place between him with his wife and the prospective buyers. His new job, after some painfully humiliating experiences in being recruited, is to be a security officer in a supermarket, involving looking out for, and intercepting, shoplifters, as well as spying, through CCTV cameras, on dishonest staff at check-out tills.
What is unusual about this film is that the man (Vincent Lindon) is a man of very few words, and of whom we know little of what he's thinking, except for seeing shots of his face, usually impassive, though clearly bearing a burden of pain underneath. The verbal interactions that he does have relate almost entirely to the situations arising at work rather than revealing anything of what's going on inside his mind regarding his own life, personal and familial. Nevertheless, he is the film's sole pivot.
Director Stephane Brize's work may well leave some feeling frustrated that it doesn't delve deeper into the central character's psyche, neither adding to nor taking away from what we can see with our own eyes. It may also disappoint in not closing off the story in a conclusive way, but rather just leaving it hanging. Some would be asking "So what happened next?" I see it more as an observational film, as though we are mere witnesses with no personal involvement, and on that level alone I found the film more than satisfactory......................6.5.
2 hours ago