TRAVAIL FAMILLE PATRIE
Michael Haneke's astonishing psychological drama/thriller.......
This is how our local cinema billed one of their 10th birthday celebration films at only £1 to members. The film had won a plethora of awards, nominations and critics praise at film festivals from Cannes to Chicago, therefore we decided we must take advantage of the low price and see this French thriller.
Georges, who hosts a TV literary review, receives packages containing videos of himself with his family--shot secretly from the street--and alarming drawings whose meaning is obscure. He has no idea who may be sending them. Gradually, the footage on the tapes becomes more personal, suggesting that the sender has known Georges for some time. Georges feels a sense of menace hanging over him and his family but, as no direct threat has been made, the police refuse to help....
I hate being negative about any creative project, because no one deliberately sets out to make a bad film, or write a bad book.
But frankly this film was boredom taken to such a new level that almost the entire audience had nodded off, when something extremely shocking happened after about 90 minutes. They were then able to resume their catatonic state as the film slowly meandered on to a very welcome conclusion.
There is a difference between the subtle use of atmosphere to create tension, and the self indulgent use of such a slow lethargic pace that even I could follow the sparse French dialogue without the subtitles.
I am still dazed by the whole experience and I was not alone..........even Juliette Binoche could not rescue this dire rubbish, and I assume it was the political message and the pseudo artistic "atmosphere" that won it the awards.