In the House Reviews
Germain Germain is no doubt a tribute to Humbert Humbert, but this is a different kind of scandal all twisted up. At one point Jeanne suggests Germain may have sexual feelings for Claude, but if he does, he's expressing it in an unusual way. He wants Claude to fulfill his masterpiece story, he's interested in the boy's daring sexual exploit with a MILF. He'd rather Claude get it on with Esther than with himself. Jeanne's suggestion is yet another hint at her own repression, quietly developing through the movie. The situation with her art gallery being threatened is more than a distraction though to her obstacle, it is a parallel to Germain's threat in education, as evidenced at the onset of the film from his reaction to the school's return to traditional uniforms. Neither his teaching style nor her art gallery are traditional, and they face a world who resents that.
I like stories that can cleverly meld reality and fiction, art imitating life or life imitating art, in this case a little bit of both. The film moves at a pace which allows the viewer to remain fixed on how Claude's vampiric home invasion develops, not worrying about which parts are embellished and which are actually happening. If something starts to feel too phony, something else happens to pad it - we see the scenario played multiple ways so that we know these events have been more Claude's imagination, or Germain steps in to interact, a great device for how is position as a superior 'educator' is interfering with the fate of this family's life and Claude's. I don't care for the Hitchcock comparisons critics seem eager to draw upon, but I'll draw my own comparison to Woody Allen with this use of Germain's meta-narrative commentary, which is in an enthralling device, allowing Germain to weave in an out of scenarios he indirectly influences Claude to explore.
There's fresh, fun, quirky ideas - all the art Jeanne encounters, particularly the sexual innuendos,
Orzon is reaching American audiences by making a French Americana; that's unique. Suburban homes, pizza, basketball, all the interiors of the Rapha home look familiar to me. Claude's attraction to it all is clear. He pretends to be someone else, but we eventually learn he comes from lower income housing with a disabled father he has to care for. His life is poor, dull, naturally leading him to seek outwards for excitement - he's the perfect voyeur.
Diverse panels open and close the picture, another unique device which highlights the scope of that other world out there threatening Germain and Jeanne. But it's not so much to do with a threat as it is about possibilities and opportunities. The final shot, perhaps somewhat reminiscent of Rear Window or the spiders in Minority Report, is colorful, bold, full of great staging and a mark of a great director stamping his piece, a slice of the world at large and all it's happenings.
When you find the point or the purpose of a movie with the magnifying glass, then there is something wrong with the movie. It could have been so much more but in the end you get lost in stories of people's lives that are too many and therefore not adequately analyzed or presented.
The only interesting feature of the movie was the fact that you could not tell what was actually happening and what was just fiction from the young kid. Which is an easy trick other than that. Apart from this, nothing more. The ending was weird and stupid and the only thing (maybe) worth keeping, is the acting of the young kid who seems to be really talented for his age and generally speaking.
I expected more from a movie with such a rating and it is the first time that I find such a big difference between my opinion for the movie and the IMDb critics. It seems that this is one of these movies that my intellect cannot grasp... Anyways, a complete waste of time and DVDs burned! Don't even bother to watch it guys..