In the House

2013

In the House

Critics Consensus

Dark, tense, and wryly funny, In the House is brilliantly directed by François Ozon and features fine performances from its talented cast.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 84

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,592
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Movie Info

A sixteen-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher. Faced with this gifted and unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers his enthusiasm for his work, but the boy's intrusion will unleash a series of uncontrollable events. (c) Cohen Media

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Critic Reviews for In the House

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (74) | Rotten (10)

  • In the House is a tour de force about two yarn-spinners -- Claude and Germain -- whose lives devolve into chaos.

    Mar 3, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • The film treats imagination-and talent-in certain hands as an almost mystical force.

    Jun 14, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Ozon and the script move a little too far afield and hold on a bit too long as the film approaches its end. Still, "In the House" has enough trippy truth to it to grab your interest and shake your mind.

    May 24, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • It's fiction about life that becomes fiction that might be life - and the viewer happily dives in.

    May 16, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • The expected punch line... never materializes, so I guess this must be a drama after all.

    May 10, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Savor In the House for its meta-exploration of adolescence, class resentment and suppressed desire, but don't expect much more.

    May 10, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for In the House

  • Jun 25, 2014
    This is an excellent suspense film with a surprising amount of laughs thrown in there. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the film was how subversive it truly is. The film is definitely very meta, but not in as over-the-top way as you'd see in other forms of entertainment that are very self-referential. I think this aspect actually works in favor of the film because it deals with Germain teaching Claude how to tell an effective story with compelling characters that have to overcome obstacles, offering criticism in order to improve Claude's storytelling abilities. This mentoring of Germain towards Claude is Germain's way to live vicariously through Claude's writing, as his own writing was never good enough, and also a way to have a father-son relationship as it's probably too late for him and his wife to have kids. But this mentoring definitely affects the way the story progresses. What I liked about the film is its approach to this mentoring, you can really see the change in Claude's approach to his story about desire in all the wrong places with each meeting he has with Germain. The same kid that wrote that, fairly, innocuous first essay isn't the same kid that ended up doing what he did. You can see how he changes, improves, and matures as the film, and his relationship with Germain, progresses. In that regard, the film is top-notch, because you can really grasp how Claude is improving as a writer and how he's becoming more and more 'ruthless' in the search of what he desires. It gets to the point where Claude doesn't really care who he hurts as long as he gets what he wants. That's top-notch character development if you ask me. There's also a sense of unreliability about Claude, so that makes you question absolutely everything he writes. Which parts of it are true and which parts of it are his own imagination and embellishing upon that. It's even to the point where I'm not even convinced that the ending I saw was a real ending. It could've all just been Claude writing his own perfect ending, or what he imagined the perfect ending would be for all those involved. It's definitely something that gets you thinking about absolutely everything you see and that's not something a lot of films do effectively. The acting is strong, as was to be expected, but I definitely think the writing, unsurprisingly enough, is the real highlight of the film. Just how clever and subversive the film really is, it's quite a joy to watch. The film has enough laughs to keep it from being tedious, for some, as I'm sure the "intellectual" tone of the film will put some off. Still this is a great movie, I can't complain at all.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2013
    A little more subtlety wold have been nice, but I still really like the film's exploration of voyeurism in art. Its "Rear Window" for the literary community. Ozon leaves room for plenty of humor (The 'Dictatorship of Sex' art exhibit is one of the funniest things I've seen this year) which makes some of the more disturbing content easier to take in.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2013
    'In the House'. A twisted, voyeuristic, and so, so meta take on manipulation and perception! Went a little too off the rails towards my end and drained some of my enthusiasm for it.
    c0up   Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    Germain(Fabrice Luchini) is a high school literature teacher who despite the new uniforms, has little hope for his students. That changes when he reads an assignment from Claude(Ernst Umhauer) about the weekend that he spent at his friend Rapha's(Bastien Ughetto) house. It is so good that even his wife Jeanne(Kristin Scott Thomas), an art gallery manager, admires his turn of phrase, even if they feel he might be getting ahead of himself there. That turns to anticipation when Claude delivers a sequel for his next assignment. At first, "In the House" might seem like just another one of Francois Ozon's domestic intruder movies. Except here, Claude is more passive observer, allowing Ozon to depict events with a lighter, if still provocative touch.(Whether Ozon mellowing is a good sign or a sign of the apocalypse is up for debate.) Even then, Claude still affects the lives of those around him, all of which including himself are missing something valuable from their lives. That's where fiction, with the particularly intoxicating addiction of serialization mixed in, can serve as a distraction from their otherwise troubled lives. That all happens amongst all the literary references, of which I am wondering if the revelation of Germain's full name is supposed to be part of.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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