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Monsieur Hire Reviews

Page 1 of 4
familiar s

Super Reviewer

July 25, 2012
*The following short comment MAY contain a SPOILER or two. MAY.....*

An aging Peeping Tom finally finds a perm victim, but before long he too ends up as one. While the plot is watchable enough, it isn't executed well enough to be completely drawn into it for its >90 minutes runtime. Sufficient performance by Monsieur Hire, though.
Mark A

Super Reviewer

October 4, 2008
A dark suspenseful tale of obsession, deception, and betrayal. Mssr. Hire likes to watch. His neighbor seems not to mind. A match made in heaven? Maybe, maybe not. A police inspector keeps the plot on a low simmer, and the end, while not unexpected, still has the power to shock. Slow action, little dialogue, and a haunting score make this a very visual little film. Sad, yet quite entertaining.
Daniel D

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2013
Monsieur Hire (played by Michel Blanc) is the protagonist and title of this film. The lonely middle aged bachelor finds a nasty habit in spying on his new attractive neighbor, who he falls for. She is Alice, an engaged blonde who has deception flowing through her veins. This is only the smaller portion of the story though, recently a murder occurred in the neighborhood. An unconventional detective is convinced that Monsieur Hire committed the crime. The evidence is stacked against Hire, and if we knew him, we'd accuse him to. That's where the story begins. The film treats this case elegantly, at the same time everyone continues to live their lives, the murder is in the background.

Monsieur Hire is eventually gently confronted by Alice, who has noticed him spying on her on two separate occasions. After this point the story has three twists. The first two shouldn't have caught me as off guard as they did, the final one was an epic scene. The film is under 80 minutes long, you realize at the end that most of this was leading up to the conclusion. Before this point I looked at this as a solid romantic thriller, by the time the end came my mood changed. It was possibly the most devastating scene I've ever encountered. It gave me goose bumps, and I remained silenced for a solid amount of time. I was left speechless, this alone made this film leave a mark on me. One of my favorite French films, elegant but unconventional. The rawness of this film, is not to be put in words.

4 stars+
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
Masterpiece picture. The character Monsieur Hire who wears a dark suit as if he is going to attend a funeral or maybe Hire is paying homage to Alfred Hitchcock, who knows? Hire enjoys listening to classical music, enjoys playing with small mice, feeding the pigeons, and looking at an attractive female across from his window.

Hire is a lonely man with not much going on until he becomes a suspect of murder near his flat. Patrice Lacontice's picture isn't all terrible it makes one ask questions as to what is going on, especially when Hire develops a relationship with the woman he's been looking across from his flat. What about the murder? Lacontice doesn't even show anything about it except that a fed is on to him.

The woman seems to be an exibitionist who at first is scared when Hire is looking across from her flat, but that fear goes away quickly, she isn't afraid to roam around in her house while he watches, and pretty soon these two will have hidden motives that won't be revealed untill later on.
Blaster1618
Blaster1618

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2010
Hire is a persons who?s good taste intelligence and aspirations in life far outrun his position in life, race and appearance. I was originally confused on the time-line and was the woman in flashbacks and dead in the dead woman investigated in the present, but they both are in the present. Beautifully shot and not as much nudity as you would think from the trailer. Patrice Leconte makes the main character very unbalanced but as the plot develops he fills in most of the blanks.
alanjayh
alanjayh

Super Reviewer

September 19, 2008
Slow, slow, slow..did I mention slow? A simple story about a small, unlikeable man and the conniving woman he adores. The plot and pacing moves at such a slow rate, you could possibly put up a couple loads of wash and still not miss anything. Even at this rate, the movie clocks in at under 80 minutes, which is no small feat. Well wait a minute (or 80), there is that word small again..think slow, small, simple...thats the sum of this movie.
September 17, 2011
stylish, dark and brooding this murder mystery manages to elicit sympathy for the most unsympathetic characters with a lot of secrets under the surface.
TonyPolito
May 22, 2010
A stylish, enjoyable tale of French tragic romance and murder mystery from Leconte ... that has largely escaped notice.

Living as an odd, anal-retentive (though well-dressed) middle-aged hermit, drier than an accountant in the Mohave, and given to creepy "Rear Window"-styled voyeurism of an attractive woman in his building (Bonnaire), Mr. Hire (Blanc) makes for the perfect suspect in the recent murder of a young girl in his neighborhood.

The who-dun-it takes an even stranger turn when Bonnaire begins to readily cooperate with having Blanc as audience - and then even turns up as the uninvited flirt standing in Blanc's apartment. At which point the motives, strategies and fates of Bonnaire and Blanc's flirtations become the larger mystery.

The viewer watches as both mysteries slowly unravel - and good causes for sympathy with Blanc emerge. There's a pretty clever twist or two on the way to fin. Oooh-la-la !!

Blanc delivers a strong performance in his creation of both a distasteful and admirable character within this single role. Bonnaire is both competent and seductive.

Almost 20 years-old and only DVD-released in 2007. Monsieur Hire is a remake of Duvivier's Panique (1948), a film not found in retail circulation.

RECOMMENDATION: Especially for admirers of the French romance genre. But it's clever enough to entertain lovers of traditional who-dun-its as well.

NB: If you liked the romantic content in this one, be sure to check out LeConte's excellent "The Hairdresser's Husband."
February 13, 2010
what a great film - 100% on the tomatometer is just about right!
Rai  MI
September 29, 2013
A disappointing movie. I was sucked in by prof reviewers. There is some good stuff here. The two lead actors are uniformly excellent. The story was engaging for the first 30 mins. or so. But, the final resolution of the story; and the tying up of loose ends did not make any sense.

This is a REAR WINDOW type of story. But, this guy only looks into one window. Of course, we understand that because a beautiful, often scantily clad, woman lives there. Interestingly for a French film, we never see her nude nor during any of her frequent love-making sessions. But, what is going on with all the other people on that side of the building?

This lonely, window-peeper guy professes profound love for a woman he has hardly spoken to. It seems more like infatuation, tinged with lust. I suppose a pre-teen or teenager could make this mistake. But, our protagonist is a mature male, in his late 30s or 40s. And, its not like this guy is not getting any sex. We see him visiting a brothel where he apparently is a regular customer. We would have to think this persons psyche is extremely fragile, or even pathological.

Ultimately, the story is inconsistent. The ending/denouement is not believable. I was not willing to go along for that ride.
gillianren
May 29, 2012
Weird Damn French Desperation

I have been going through a bit of a dry spell of late. Regular readers may have noticed this. For one thing, this doesn't much appear to be a section of the alphabet with a whole bunch of features in it. Documentaries, some, but mostly episodes of [i]NOVA[/i] or History Channel specials. I'm very pleased to have gotten [i]New Europe[/i] in today's library pile, but few of the Michael Palin travelogues are in the system, and this isn't one of the exceptions. My Netflix hasn't been much better. I started watching two movies the other day and turned both of them off. (It turns out that I can't even care about [i]Ghost World[/i] for Steve Buscemi.) So I've been watching a lot of stuff on Instant Play, which has made me even more determined that Netflix is really going to have to improve that system before it ever takes over for actual discs. Especially things like searching capability and catalog.

Monsieur Hire (Michel Blanc) is a quiet man who lives a quiet life in a quiet French neighbourhood. (I think Parisian.) His neighbours don't trust him, and it's true (though I don't know if they know this) that he has a record for some sort of sexual offense. However, he doesn't much interfere with anyone anymore and doesn't bother anyone. Only one day, Pierrette Bourgeois (Marielle Berthon) is murdered in a vacant lot near M. Hire's building. Everyone in the neighbourhood seems to assume he has done it. However, because he has been spying on Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire), he saw what happened that night when her boyfriend, Emile (Luc Thuillier), came over to her apartment. He had Pierrette's coat with him, you see. A police inspector (André Wilms) visits M. Hire repeatedly, because everyone in the neighbourhood has told him that M. Hire was obviously the man who killed Pierrette, but the inspector does not himself believe it. Then one day, Alice notices that she is being watched.

M. Hire insists that he loves Alice, but I do not believe this to be the case. I do not think it is possible. He says no one will ever love her the way he does, but how can he know? He knows nothing about her except what can be seen from across the way. I have been, in recent years, adamant that you can't diagnose someone with a mental illness based on words on a screen, but how much more do you know about a person from that? He sees what she does, but I think there are a lot of things that look normal but are completely nuts. He might be able to see her bookshelves, and I do believe you can tell a lot about a person from their bookshelves, but I doubt he's close enough to actually read the titles. He didn't know the sound of her voice until quite recently. There is almost nothing about her that he does know, and I really don't believe you can truly love someone without ever talking to them. And I think the ending of the movie proves my point, though I won't give that away.

Can I also say that I just don't get the bowling scene? I mean, it was vaguely entertaining and led to an interesting conversation between M. Hire and the police inspector (who never gets a name), but still. Okay, this is a way wherein M. Hire is almost human, but seriously? Bowling? And everyone in the bowling alley stops to watch his impressive display. It just feels out of place, the worse so because of the quiet nature of the rest of the movie. How did M. Hire even discover this talent? I can't see him hanging around bowling alleys for fun, and it rather feels as though he's doing so at this point to show the police inspector that he couldn't possibly be the murderer of poor Pierrette. But you know, killers bowl. It's a thing which is probably more rare in France, but it has been known to happen in the United States. There's an implication to Pierrette's death of serial killing, which doesn't get brought up much at all, but I bet there have even been plenty of bowling serial killers.

Honestly, I don't have a ton to say, here. This is a very still movie. Mostly, I am writing about it because I just don't think there will be anything else for me to write about today. I mean, will the documentary about roller derby I have from Netflix even be in the system? I wanted to explore the police inspector more. There is even a certain extent to which I want to know what happens next, because I don't much know about how rules of evidence work in France. I'm not sure there is a happy ending possible for these characters, but I don't know if this is the happiest ending possible, either. I missed the murder, at the beginning, and I thought for a while that there would turn out to be a certain possible plot twist, and there wasn't. But it would have been one more example of information it was possible to miss by just watching the situation from a distance. There are certain aspects of Alice's personality which I expected to be revealed--and which the ending does not actually remove as a possibility.
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
Masterpiece picture. The character Monsieur Hire who wears a dark suit as if he is going to attend a funeral or maybe Hire is paying homage to Alfred Hitchcock, who knows? Hire enjoys listening to classical music, enjoys playing with small mice, feeding the pigeons, and looking at an attractive female across from his window.

Hire is a lonely man with not much going on until he becomes a suspect of murder near his flat. Patrice Lacontice's picture isn't all terrible it makes one ask questions as to what is going on, especially when Hire develops a relationship with the woman he's been looking across from his flat. What about the murder? Lacontice doesn't even show anything about it except that a fed is on to him.

The woman seems to be an exibitionist who at first is scared when Hire is looking across from her flat, but that fear goes away quickly, she isn't afraid to roam around in her house while he watches, and pretty soon these two will have hidden motives that won't be revealed untill later on.
April 10, 2012
Sinister impulses betray the most innocent longings, nothing is more tragic than a genuine drive to attain the unattainable.
Daniel C.
December 29, 2011
If I hadn't actually watched the whole thing I wouldn't have believed it: another God-awful Hallmark card ending to the most awful, boring picture ever made. Total unmitigated crap.
Luke W.
September 9, 2011
Usually only the best foreign films make their way to America, but somehow this misfire made it stateside. While the storyline is intriguing, nothing is made of Monsieur Hire and Alice's relationship nor of the role of her boyfriend, who only appears as needed and never seems to affect anyone in the plot. As for the title character, his eccentricities are certainly strange, but they are never explained and the ending is merely a cop-out to make us feel empathy for someone who in real life would never receive such attention, and for good reason.
August 8, 2011
The lack of information is so enticing.
July 23, 2011
A poetic classic of the mundane -- and arguably Leconte's directorial opus.
June 25, 2011
Great! My kind of movie. Its in French, with subtitles, and the entire plot is not typical and had me re watching parts just to figure it out and these I consider plusses.
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