Dans la maison

I don’t have a great deal to say about François Ozon’s Dans la maison (2013). It’s a decent thriller with some good comedy. It starts out strong with a reference to Scorpio Rising (1964) but the ending is a bit mediocre, with a reference to Rear Window (1954). In between its well-acted, charming/creepy teenage protagonist gradually intrudes into a bourgeois classmate’s home in order to see his more privileged life, eventually with the goal of seducing his mother. He’s spurred on in his endeavour by his literature teacher, a failed writer whose wife manages an unsuccessful art gallery. In the first half there are quite a few hilarious moments with a sinister edge, but as the film progresses it attempts to get a bit darker, transgressing certain boundaries to examine issues of class disparity, privacy, trust, viewer implication, and the morality of exploiting people’s stories for artistic ends. If this description makes you think of Rear Window, Funny Games, or Through a Glass Darkly, I think that’s what Ozon is going for, but he falls short of the mark. Still, it ticks a long, and its comedy makes it just about worthwhile. ★★★☆☆

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