This brilliant if unpleasant puzzle without a solution, about surveillance and various kinds of denial, finds writer-director Michael Haneke near the top of his game, though it’s not a game everyone will want to play (2005). The brittle host of a TV book-chat show (Daniel Auteuil) and his unhappy wife (Juliette Binoche) start getting strange videos that track their comings and goings outside their Paris home. Once the husband traces the videos to an Algerian he abused when both were kids, things get only more tense, troubled, and unresolved. Haneke is so punitive toward the couple and his audience that I periodically rebelled against—or went into denial about—the director’s rage, and I guess that’s part of the plan. In French with subtitles.
R • 1 hour 57 min • 2005