Lemming

Film
THE DISCREET ALARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE Gainsbourg and Lucas are plagued by rodents.
THE DISCREET ALARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE Gainsbourg and Lucas are plagued by rodents.

Time Out says

Dominik Moll’s new thriller starts with a scenario straight out of a classic sitcom: An engineer (Lucas) brings the boss home to dinner. Only instead of having to worry whether his wife (Gainsbourg) will burn the pot roast, the host’s main problem is the behavior of his superior’s odd, antisocial spouse (Rampling). Later, the younger couple finds a lemming caught in their sink’s drainpipe. Things start getting a little kooky after that, and without giving the plot away, elements such as suicide, infidelity and possible identity transmutation (or, barring that, plain ol’ ghostly possession) are factored into the narrative equation.

Having quelled the raging case of Hitchcockitis that infused his previous film, With a Friend Like Harry... (2000), Moll now stakes a claim in Luis Buuel territory. A director like Buuel or David Lynch might have turned the infestation metaphor into a truly surreal peek behind the facade of the bourgeoisie. Moll, on the other hand, doesn’t know what to do with the rich material, toying with potential meanings and letting any sustained tension deflate. Like a rodent chasing its own tail, Lemming just keeps turning itself around and around until it collapses, panting and exhausted. (Opens Fri; click here for venues.)—David Fear

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