Eric Wolfram's Writing, Review of Read My Lips

Read My Lips

Directed by Jacques Audiard

Right from the awesome and reveling opening shot, I knew that I was in the hands of an artist film maker -- Jacques Audiard establishes the excellence of his craft with skillful out of focus slow hand held sequence of a girl silently putting in a hearing aid. Carla, an unlikely movie star, is partially deaf.

Immediately following the opening scene, another facet of the film reveals itself, humor, as Carla specifies her assistant to an employee at a hiring agency. The film turns into an office fantasy as the shy, sensitive secretary Carla trains her raw tough scary jailbird of an assistant. This cleaver unusual relationship allows us to rejoice when she asserts power over him and then to melt when he does so back to her.

Eventually, the story takes yet another turn, into a caper like The Sting and reminiscent of a thriller like Hitchcock's Rear Window. Still, we're always in the hands of the excellent film maker, who gives us ample close-ups and delightfully subtile non-intrusive hand held view of such sensitive compositions.

The strange and confusing sub-story of the parole officer resolves before it's developed, which is one critique, but don't let that stop you from watching Read My Lips -- the movie is a true gem.

Country: France
Year: 2001
Run Time: 115 minutes
Cast: Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Devos, Olivier Gourmet, Olivier Perrier, Olivia Bonamy
Producer: Philippe Carcassonne, Jean-Louis Livi
Editor: Juliette Welfling
Cinematographer: Mathieu Vadepied
Screenwriter: Jacques Audiard, Tonino Benacquista

This Film Was Viewed at the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival

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