(aka "FACING (subtitle)" or "ACROSS THE ROAD (UK)")

 

directed by Mathias Ledoux
France 2000

 

PLOT: Young, bankrupt couple are surprised to learn they've inherited the palatial townhouse of their landlord complete with mysterious housekeeper who have to keep on. Photographs reveal that the dead man spied on the wife (their apartment window faces his townhouse) in various states of undress. The mysterious housekeeper starts leaving clues around the house that reveal to the husband that his wife may know more about the dead man than she is letting on and may have had something to do with his death.

This film has Hollywood remake written all over it but the only differences would be the language and the setting. The film seems like it was inspired by SINGLE WHITE FEMALE and THE SHINING. Its potentially kinky content is so watered down (a lot of nudity but little detail about the dead man's exploits), the plot so unfocused, and it already has a ludicrous ending after the requisite multiple double crosses (with yet another before the final fade out). The late Ledoux, a TV director, gives the film its expected gloss with slick cinematography (plenty of gliding Steadicam, smoke, gel lighting) and plenty of fades as well as some subliminal cuts that are too rhythmic to register in the viewer's mind as anything other than a flourish.

Anglade is good as usual but its not a very demanding role. Courau is both attractive and seemingly a good actress though the film requires her to strike more poses and expressions than actually perform. Boisson comes off well here with an ambiguous and more complex role. Jose Garcia's wealthy Hugo is an utterly superfluous character given too much screen time (his insistent flirtations with Jean's wife are supposed to be cute but are just inappropriate) and a few other supporting characters who remain peripheral should have been more developed (Jean's publisher, his suffering wife who is also the firm's controlling shareholder, the detective, the dead man's mistress).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: February 9, 2000 (France)

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DVD Review: Aventi - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Aventi

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:28:39 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.86:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.15 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles English; none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Aventi

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.86:1

Edition Details:
• Filmographies
• Deleted Scenes (3:53, no subtitles)
• Special Effects (0:37)
• Photographs from the film
• Trailers
• Promo Reel (4:00)

DVD Release Date: January 30, 2001
Amaray

Chapters 15

 

 

Comments:

This French DVD seems to be the only game in town for this 2000 film. Fortunately it features English subtitles for the main feature and a strong 5.1 track. The image is sharp when it wants to be but the use of atmospheric smoke in some interiors gives them a soft look but the encoding handles them excellently as well as some saturated red gel lighting.

Extras include a special effects segment which reveals some impressive bluescreen work that was entirely convincing in the feature itself. Avoid the "mysterious tape" extra if you haven't watched the film already.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Aventi

Region 2 - PAL



 

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