Private Property (Nue propriete) (2007)
Critic Consensus: Private Property overcomes its slow pace with tight direction from Joachim Lafosse and an intriguing performance from Isabelle Huppert.
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Critic Reviews for Private Property (Nue propriete)
The effect of all this acting out is less erotic than helplessly childish.
An impeccably acted character drama revolving around a mother and her teenage twin sons, Private Property shows how strong and how terrifying the bonds within families can be.
It wouldn't be accurate to call Private Property a thriller, but it has a slow-burning intensity that's oddly suspenseful, and it shifts gears effectively once the tense family dynamic suddenly changes.
What draws us into "Private Property" is how so many things happen under the surface, never commented upon. At any given moment, we cannot say for sure what the characters fully feel, since they often act at right angles to their emotions.
[Director] Lafosse's frustrating, yet beautifully elegiac coda emphasizes the point that his production and storytelling style have been making throughout: Private Property is about processes, not conclusions.
Audience Reviews for Private Property (Nue propriete)
A divorced woman and her two twin (grown) sons live on their remote estate that's meant to be theirs as long as they see to the upkeep and live there, as it's owned by her ex-husband. When mom decides that she wants to sell the place (not sure how THAT works, since her ex OWNS it) and move on, her kids freak out and tensions build to a breaking point within the household. An interesting character study, but these characters are all so bizarrely motivated it's hard to really root for anyone. Rental?
Filmed as if the camera is quite literally a fly on the wall, this surprisingly complex study of a damaged family is thought-provoking and ultimately devastating cinema. Lafosse creates a quietly powerful film that in other hands would have come off as a simply dark "kitchen sink" drama. Nue proriete is far more than that. Much of the film's success is thanks to an engaging and enigmatic performance by Isabelle Huppert - who, as she often manages to do, makes the viewer try to figure out what is going on behind those eyes and gestures. Profound and disturbing, Joachim Lafosse makes the audience almost feel guilty for having seen these private moments of a family on the verge of implosion.
Tough to watch this family disintegrate before our eyes, but that is what we are asked to do. Pascale (Isabelle Huppert) has indulged her adult twin sons, the dreamy Francois (Yannick Renier) and the brutish Thierry (Jeremie Renier), all of their lives, so is it any surprise that they seem to have an over-inflated opinion of themselves? When Pascale suggests her idea to sell the family home and move, we realize that this family seems to have lost any ability to converse without rancor and because of that, the viewing experience was not very pleasant. The cast worked together very well, the scenery was lovely, but the story irritated more than entertained.
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