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Vincent, Aurelien Recoing, has been retrenched, but he hasn`t dared tell his wife and family the awful news. Instead, he leaves for work every day, and sometimes stays away `on business` and then just kills time aimlessly, sleeping in his car and driving around the beautiful countryside on the border between France and Switzerland. When he pretends to have found a new job at the U.N. HQ in Geneva, he borrows money from his father-in-law; and friends also unwisely entrust their savings to him, since he assures them he can invest their money. Vincent is heading for a crack-up. Laurent Cantet`s second full-length feature, after Human Resources, which has screened on SBS and which is also about unemployment, is a sad depiction of a very contemporary problem. The story is based on a real case history (which has since been filmed, with more fidelity, by Nicole Garcia as The Adversary, but the strengths of Cantet`s film lie in the characterisation - Recoing perfectly conveys the inner sadness of this seemingly passive man who is concealing his wretched situation from his family and friends; he`s so steeped in his fictitious role as a U.N. employee that he jumps to the defence of the organisation when it`s criticised. The film`s a bit long, and perhaps a bit predictable, but it`s beautifully made and its themes are important and timely.

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PG
2 hours 14 min

Genres