Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Has the pulse of an emotional thriller.---Manohla Dargis, NEW YORK TIMES
Pascale (Isabelle Huppert) lives with her adult twin sons, aimless François (Yannick Renier) and headstrong Thierry (Jérémie Renier, star of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's L'ENFANT and LA PROMESSE), in a renovated Belgian farmhouse. Each is still reeling from the divorce that divided the family some years earlier. Both boys pursue their respective interests, but neither seems compelled to embrace adulthood or the responsibilities that come with it. However, all that is about to change. Pascale has fallen in love again and dreams of a new life for herself and her lover a countryside B&B that they aspire to own together. But what would seem to be a happy time in her life takes a turn for the worse as she finds herself unable to rise from the shadow of her ex-husband and selfish children. In a bid for survival, Pascale leaves the house in the hands of Thierry and François, never suspecting that in her absence, long-buried resentment and rivalry will boil over, igniting a war between the brothers.
DVD Details: Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2006, 89 minutes, Color, Region 1, NTSC, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 or 5.1 Surround Sound; In French with English subtitles; Special Features: Theatrical trailer; Enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Scene Selections; Liner Notes: Production notes and Interview with the director.
Too mesmerizing to miss. -----Andrew Sarris, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
Disturbingly vivid. -----Jay Weissberg, VARIETY
4 stars! -----John Anderson, NEWSDAY
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Pascale (a blowsy, de-glamorized Isabelle Huppert) lives with her two sons, Thierry (a mean, feral Jeremie Renier) and Francois (the opposite of Thierry yet in real life the brother of Jeremie, Yannick Renier) in a country home filled with memories of a brutal divorce, the events leading up to the divorce and the detritus of hate, longing and betrayal that a bitter divorce leaves in it's wake. You know the scenario: the sons basically blame Pascale for the divorce and she blames her ex.
Pascale also feels strangled about her lot in life: her boys, really men roughly 23 or so treat her like a maid, mostly spend their days shooting rats on the river bank and only briefly look for work. The house is a heady cauldron of stew boiling over from all the deceit, yearning, sexual impropriety and parental wantonness. In many ways we could be in 1919 New England and watching Eugene O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms," what with all the heady, musty, suppressed sexuality on view here.
Director Joachim LaFosse has an excellent eye and the film is shot in the muted colors of a Renoir painting which proves to be an alluring counterpoint to the less than glamorous goings on in Chez Pascale.
Isabelle Huppert plays Pascale from the inside: on the one hand concerned, loving, maternal and on the other searching for ways to rid herself of her burdens and escape with her lover. Huppert, never one to shy away from working on screen without makeup when a role calls for it, looks like a 50 year old put upon, used up woman who has but one shred of a hope left in her body and that shred does not include Thierry or Jeremie who have bled her dry with their need for attention and care, demands for love and obnoxious shows of disrespect.
LaFosse and his screenwriter have some interesting things to say here but most have been said before: the perils of divorce, loving your children too much, the necessity of building and more to the point keeping your life though you are married...and so on. What elevates "Private Property" from the turgid melodramas of the `40's ("Mildred Pierce" for example) is the wondrous ensemble acting: the magnificent Huppert and the forceful and always interesting Renier brothers.
The story focuses on Pascale, divorced mother of twin boys, both at home, often calling the shots. Pascale and her sons argue often and the two boys are in physical fights. In this film, the twins are played by real-life brothers, Yannick and Jeremie Renier. Similar to many divorces, the mother bashes the father to the boys. Their father shows up periodically giving them money, and providing at least some tenderness. The boys have no respect for their mother, throwing f-bombs in front of her, calling her a bitch, mocking her sexual relationships, or even her decision making. One of the boys is more aggressive and domineering while the other is more passive with his mother.
When Pascale decides to sell the house and start a bed and breakfast she gets grief from her sons, as they believe the house was given to them by their father. Selling the home would create need for resolutions.
The setting is the home in Belgium, where one gets the feeling this family is trapped, unable to make choices, to move on, to open up to the future. Often the scenes are tight and close, adding to a feeling of confinement and entrapment.
You will notice quickly how often this family is at the table eating, so many scenes are with eating. Director Lafosse has said that eating is one of the main things we do in life, and that food is libido and the mainspring of life.
Some may not like this movie, as we don't see much character advancement, the story does not advance much, and we are left without answers. It is clearly not as the DVD cover states, a thriller. ...Rizzo
The French film, "Private Property," sets up a fierce battle of wills between a divorced mother and the two ne'er-do-well sons (fraternal twins) who still live with her. Pascale wants to sell the house and open up a bed-and-breakfast with her new boyfriend, but the young men, fearing the loss of the property that they believe should rightly go to them, attempt to block any efforts in that direction.
With intelligent direction by Joachim Lafosse and incisive writing by Lafosse and Francois Pirot, this low-keyed family drama explores the complexities inherent in filial, sibling and marital relationships. The confrontation scenes, many of which take place during meal times (come to think of it, I don't believe I've seen this much eating in a film since "Babette`s Feast"), are sharply drawn and effectively staged. The acting is excellent across the board, particularly that of Isabelle Huppert, as the middle-aged woman determined to finally start living for herself, and Jeremy Renier, as the more belligerent and self-centered of her two sons. Yannick Renier, Jeremy's brother in real life, is also very good as the more passive of the twins.
Some viewers may feel let down and frustrated by the inconclusive ending, but I enjoyed the ambiguity of it. We are made privy to just one brief episode in the lives of these people - then it's time for us all to move on.
Most recent customer reviews
We choose many of our confinements.
Modern men and women have amazingly broad discretion to choose how we confine...Read more