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Saturday, December 16, 2017 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Housekeeper cinematronic
  director

Claude Berri

cast

Jean-Pierre Bacri, Émilie Dequenne, Brigitte Catillon, Jacques Frantz, Axelle Abbadie, Catherine Breillat

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  "The Housekeeper," from French writer/director Claude Berri, isn't too reminiscent of the filmmaker's renowned "Jean de Florette" and "Manon of the Spring," a two-part rural morality play with the literary quality of an historical saga. For one thing, "The Housekeeper" is not that deep. But Berri knows how to frame a character study, and he's in his element here. Left to his own devices after his marriage falls apart, conservative, middle-aged recording engineer Jacques (Jean-Pierre Bacri) molders away in his Paris apartment. He decides to hire 20-year-old Laura (Émilie Dequenne) as his housekeeper, to clean up the clutter. Despite her youthful glow and sexual appeal, Laura couldn't be more annoying. While puttering around the place and tidying up, she listens to loud pop music and watches crappy TV programs that earn Jacques' disdain. Because of the attraction/repulsion thing going on between employer and employee, a relationship blooms. The chances for longevity are slim, though. A road trip to the seashore becomes a turning point for Jacques and Laura as their age gap and cultural differences take a toll. "The Housekeeper" is a harsh lesson, well taught.  
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