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L'Appartement

Sophisticated, funny, moving, passionate and intriguingly complex; this is as good as foreign films get! It's directed by Gilles Mimouni, and presented in French with some of the tiniest subtitles you'll ever strain to read.

The action involves three (or is it four?) French characters whose lives intertwine romantically and with considerable obsession. As with Memento and most of Tarantino's titles, the story is told out of sequence, and you have to put it together as you go along. But it's no hardship to do so, as key accidents or path-crossings are well-flagged — along with some red herrings — and give you a hook on which to hang the information and themes aready gathered.

Vincent Cassel, Romane Bohringer (outstanding acting, I thought) and Jean-Phillipe Ecoffey are joined by the beautiful, mysterious, vulnerable Monica Bellucci in this twisting, emotionally-charged tale of murder, love, sad circumstance and the accident of location.

The film-maker exhibits his craft; there are pre-endings and at least one false dead-end (or should that be 'cul-de-sac'?) which is later revisited and provides a new key twist for the plot.

I only ever shout 'look behind you' when I attend pantomimes. Except I found myself addressing the telly as Max and Lisa's lives appear to be about to engage one another again as the movie reaches it's off-beat climax I had forgotten this was a European movie, so I was still in Hollywood-happy-ending-lucky-coincidence-makes-everthing-all-right mode.

Top notch, but you need your wits about you as well as your libido.


Larger sub-titles, (
les sous-titre plus grande) please, or even better, dub foreign language films into English, like they dub English language films into up to a dozen other languages.

Please don't be tempted to remake this with Hugh Grant and Catherine Zeta-Jones, because they both lack sufficient class.

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