Paul (Cluzet) is charming, attractive, hard-working; Nelly (Béart) is beautiful and carefree, devoted to her husband and more than happy to help him make a success of his Edenic lakeside hotel. They're madly in love. Nelly has a baby. Paul has trouble sleeping; he can't shake off a nagging inner voice which needs to know what Nelly's up to every minute of the day. Little by little his suspicions take shape, and jealousy plunges him into an unfathomable purgatory of doubt and dementia. Chabrol's film is a relentlessly bleak, gripping study of pathological jealousy which finds the director more thoroughly engaged than he's been for some while. Based on a rediscovered screenplay by Henri-Georges Clouzot (whose 1964 production was abandoned after six days' shooting), this is a black comedy which evolves into a long dark night of the soul. The nihilistic vision may be Clouzot's, but the economy, concentration and oppressive atmosphere are pure Chabrol, as is the eruption of the suppressed into the public arena. A work of enthralling virtuosity.
Cast and crew