Skin of Man, Heart of Beast (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Skin of Man, Heart of Beast (1999)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this disturbing French drama, a family welcomes a long-lost loved one into their home only to discover that he behaves like a stranger. Fifteen years ago, a man named Coco (Bernard Blancan) disappeared without warning. One day, he returns to his family home, telling his mother Marthe (Maaike Jansen) that he joined the Foreign Legion. While no one at home -- mother Marthe, younger brother Alex (Pascal Cervo), older brother Francky (Serge Riaboukine), and Francky's two daughters, teenage Christelle (Virginie Guinand) and five-year-old Aurelie (Cathy Hinderchied) -- is sure if they believe Coco's story, they're glad to see that he's finally returned home in one piece. However, Coco isn't quite the same as he once was; he suffers from dramatic mood swings, and he doesn't seem to trust those around him. While Christelle, who never knew Coco, resents his presence around the house and finds his moods disturbing, Aurelie displays a child's trust of this oddly vulnerable stranger, and they become close. However, the longer Coco stays with the family, the more obvious his emotional disturbance becomes, which in time leads to rough sexual encounters with prostitutes and sudden acts of shocking violence. Peau d'Homme, Coeur de Bete was shown in competition at the 1999 Locarno Film Festival.

Cast

Virginie Guinand
as Christelle
Françoise Bertin
as Mademoiselle Espitalier
Ren Morard
as Bibof's father
Robert Lucibello
as Commissaire
Fred Proust
as Caguette
Emilie Lafarge
as Girl in handcuffs
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Critic Reviews for Skin of Man, Heart of Beast

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5)

A simmering psychological drama in which the bursts of sudden violence are all the more startling for the slow buildup that has preceded them.

July 16, 2002

The all-French cast is marveilleux.

June 21, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4
Top Critic

Leaves you with a knot in your stomach, its power is undercut by its own head-banging obviousness.

June 21, 2002 | Rating: 2/5

Skin Of Man gets a few cheap shocks from its kids-in-peril theatrics, but it also taps into the primal fears of young people trying to cope with the mysterious and brutal nature of adults.

June 20, 2002
Top Critic

French director Hélène Angel's sensitive and crystalline debut feature.

June 19, 2002 | Full Review…

The film does a solid job of slowly, steadily building up to the climactic burst of violence.

June 29, 2002 | Full Review…

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