What better way to recuperate from all those summer blockbusters than with a good dose of existential angst? But, unlike last years Seul Contre Tous, this is a film about apathy and resignation, not anger and recrimination.
Adapted from Michel Houellebecqs cult novel, Philippe Harels third feature has been attacked in France for failing to find a visual identity commensurate with the books clinical prose. But for those unfamiliar with the source, this comes across as a wryly misanthropic study of middle-aged, middle-class mediocrity. Harel gives a supremely controlled performance, laced with sardonic self-pity and a misplaced sense of superiority, and with its determinedly psychological focus and penchant for distracted navel-gazing, this exudes an irresistible melancholic charm.