Monday, April 22, 2013

In The House

Fran├žois Ozon's "In the House" features a fascinating concept: Claude, a bright high-school student eager to learn to write, worms his way into a schoolmate's household, ostensibly to tutor him in mathematics, and writes about the real and imagined goings-on for his literature teacher, Germain, who finds the submissions inappropriate at first but soon can't get enough.
When Claude begins to incorporate Teach and his gallerist wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) into his writings, though, Germain is left to try to put the toothpaste back in the tube. "In the House" is smart and sophisticated and unmistakably French in its nonchalance - at one point, Thomas asks Germain whether he feels sexual attraction toward Claude and seems almost disappointed that he doesn't. There are some laughs, but not as many as I'd hoped, and the story spirals into silliness, falling back to Earth with a thud. It should have ended a few "to be continueds" earlier.

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