16 February 2009

Entre Ses Mains / In His Hands (2005) - A Review

In the city of Lille, Clair Gautier (Isabelle Carre) lives an ideal modern life: she likes her job as an insurance assessor, is happily married to Fabrice (Jonathan Zaccai) and has a young daughter. One day, she processes a claim by a middle-aged vetinarian, Laurent Kessler (Benoit Poelvoorde). Kessler is self-effacing, charming but slightly creepy, so it is unexpected when she allows him into her life and dates him.

Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose in the city. After hearing about the killer's modus operandi, Claire suspects Kessler might the killer. Despite this suspicion, she continues to meet him; perhaps her life is not as ideal as it seems and that she's entertaining a harmless fantasy as an escape from it.

The pair's encounters through Lille are tracked by Denis Lenoir's excellent cinematography, which shows an exciting and romantic night life in contrast to the stark office interiors and wintry days. Director and co-writer, Anne Fontaine, herself an actor, gives the cast space and time to perform.

For most of its running time, I was left guessing whether Claire's suspicions are valid or not, so it is rather disappointing when that ambiguity is neatly resolved in the conclusion.

French with English subtitles

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