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Wild At Heart movie review = In The House

Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

Just caught this very interesting French movie by Francois Ozon, "In The House" which sounds more like the title of a home invasion movie than a story about a forlorn teacher and his gifted, yet unusual pupil. English teacher Germaine is finding it painful to be reading his student's listless and inane writing assignments when he comes across part one of a series of stories written by the introverted Claude, a 16 year old loner, about a friendship he is starting up with a fellow student, Rapha Jr. From a broken home, Claude visualizes what like in Rapha's household would be like and uses his talents at math to work at becoming his tutor. He uses his access to essentially spy on his home life and integrates himself slowly in the general day-to-day flow of the family even finding himself lusting after Rapha's mom. The movie takes a somewhat understated voyeuristic tone as his teacher becomes smitten with this story.

Germaine sees real talent in Claude's work and wants to mentor him to see if Claude can find the success as a writer that Germaine failed to find. Germaine straddles the line of what is real and what is made up in Claude's stories as he shares the stories with his wife. Germaine slowly becomes as obsessed with Claude's stories as Claude is with Rapha's home life and takes a bigger and bigger role in shaping the outcome. The movie does a great job on keeping us wondering what is real and what is made up in the storytelling process as we reach the end of the story. We have this feeling as Germaine's wife both wants to hear more about the stories but is concerned that her husband is becoming too involved in the process for his own good.

Like Germaine, we as viewers also become entranced by Claude's increasingly invasive insertion into this families life. And when things start to unravel, Ozon does a wonderful job showing the destruction of the intellectuals (Claude, Germaine and his art gallery working wife) and the strengthening of Rapha's more conventional family. The movie is very well acted and the relationship between Germaine and Claude never gets totally out of touch. Ozon keeps in very realistic and plays on our own voyeuristic needs to keep us entranced by the story. It is a joy to see the way Claude feeds his story to his teacher and tries to manipulate him in finding him interesting. This is a very fascinating film and well worth catching. It opens tonight at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak.

I gives this film an A-. Don't miss this film.