Joachim Lafosse seems to be another born-ready talent. Nue proprieté, his third feature-length movie, is an absolute masterpiece. In his no-frills photography, Lafosse creates the necessary claustrophobic atmosphere to tell the story of a mother stuck with her two sons in a country house in Belgium and how her attempt to break free from her virtual house-imprisonment by selling the house itself gradually leads this family to a state of near civil war. I particularly enjoy the perfect economy of means with which the story is told: every scene counts, every scenic element serves its purpose. The dry approach involves the absence of a soundtrack until the last scene, in which a nightmarish version of Mahler’s Urlicht is used to shattering effect. Also, situations that seemed to be apparently devoid of special meaning later reveal their full importance. Just compare the first scene and the last one to see how innoncent jokes already revealed the bitter truth that bound these people together.
And there is a sensational cast – the fabulous Isabelle Huppert finally finds again a role to the level of her talents and the brothers Jerémie and Yannick Renier offer almost unebearably intense take-no-hostages performances. The building tension offered by these actors is so overwhelming that you will take some time to chill out after this subtle but powerful movie.