Life Is a Long Quiet River


Time Out says

Meet the Quesnoys, smugly conscious of their wealth, righteousness and impeccable taste. Meet, too, the Groseilles, a scurvy brood of slobs and small-time criminals living at the other end of town. Their paths cross when their mutual obstetrician's nurse (and spurned lover) spitefully reveals that she once deliberately swapped the cradles of two new-born babies. Horrified by their son's life to date, the Quesnoys decide to bring Momo (Magimel) into their sheltered fold; the Groseilles agree, for a fee, but don't give a shit about retrieving their Bernadette (Lalande). Momo's habits, however, are deeply ingrained; Bernadette's curiosity about her real parents is aroused; and all hell breaks loose at the Quesnoy mansion. Chatiliez' engaging, anarchic satire on the charmless discretion of the bougeoisie revels in the downfall of the Quesnoys, charting a descent into alcoholism, drugs and easy sex with a wicked logic reminiscent of Bertrand Blier. Nor are the Groseilles glamorised: repression, racism, hypocrisy and greed are rampant. More rigour might have helped, but there is enough beadiness in Chatiliez' first feature to suggest that he may be a talent to watch.

By: GA


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