Private Property

A family crisis for Isabelle Huppert

Ask a layman for a description of a mainland European movie and he may well offer up the following stereotypes; a downbeat atmosphere, family tensions, sex and nudity, heavy dialogue and Isabelle Huppert – all of which inform Private Property’s structure.

Huppert plays Pascale, a woman wanting more from life following a divorce. Her children (played by real life brothers Jérémie and Yannick Renier) have grown up although haven’t yet embraced maturity. When Pascale wants to sell the family home to fund a new business, the twins react badly and the family dynamic radically alters.

The film’s key components are all accomplished. The characters are finely cast and greatly performed while Lafosse can eye a witty moment and isn’t afraid of trying an imaginative shot. Private Property fulfils Lafosse’s concept of depicting how a single shock can wreck a family unit, but with little narrative drive or any reeling hooks, it feels less like the great film experience it should be and more like a bunch of stuff that happens.

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