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I have no idea why I never saw this one before, as it has the best of European cinema on offer: director Michael Haneke, Daniel Auteuil, mystery plot, relationship drama… here we go, what an excellent picture. The only flaw is not the film’s problem, but rather the viewer’s or maybe the distributor’s: I realised that I caught myself several times expecting more of a mystery thriller, wondering whether the crime element would come on top more at a later stage.

Thing is: it is a stalled mystery, with nothing really happening, but a constant atmosphere of peril. You can, as Roger Ebert does in his review (here and here), analyse the various  shots in detail and have a good time trying to solve the riddle, only that it will leave you back slightly frustrated. There may be relatively clear clues (especially in the final shot), but only to the effect that “something’s off”, without providing the information that  would help you solve it. That’s the way I like it. Or would “Inception” have been more interesting if the top at the hand had toppled or stayed up forever? Nope!

(And yes, I was desperately looking for familiar faces and context in the final shot, and could not find them, I had to re-watch it to see the characters that I was supposed to be seeing, but that were hidden in plain sight.)

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387898/

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  1. […] best films I have seen this year have all been older: Real highlights were Michael Haneke’s “Hidden / Caché” and Charlie Kaufman’s “Synechdoche, New York”. Among the 2009 and 2010 releases, nothing […]

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