2004 Nominee Independent Spirit Award - Best Foreign Fim. It's a summer holiday weekend in Paris. Antoine (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), a timid insurance salesman, and his lawyer wife Hélène (Carole Bouquet) are off to the south of France to pick up their children from camp. They begin to quarrel while on the road. He pulls over for a drink at a bar along the highway. When he returns, she is gone. He dashes to the train station to try to meet her but is too late. Darkness has fallen and, left alone to continue the journey, Antoine picks up a strange hitchhiker, not knowing he might have already crossed paths with his soon-to-be-missing wife...Based on a novel by Georges Simenon (Maigret), Cédric Kahn's (L'Ennui, Roberto Succo) edge-of-your-seat thriller masterfully evokes the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Claude Chabrol.
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A brilliant Hitchcockian exercise from director Cedric Kahn: A middle-aged couple drives south from Paris to pick up their kids at camp. On the way, the husband drinks, the wife nags, and they get off on the wrong road at night. From there, it's the kind of downward spiral that would have made even Hitchcock shiver, with a clear-eyed sense of the abyss that might suddenly open in the course of ordinary existence. Like his fellow French Hitchcock enthusiast Claude Chabrol, Kahn has a keen eye for catching the uneasy vibrations beneath an apparently dull domestic situation, and he builds the story with a steady, terrible momentum. Glamorous Carole Bouquet is dead-on as the wife, but the movie is carried by Jean-Pierre Darroussin, the dumpy-faced, balding actor who exudes regular-schnook status. He captures a man who gets more danger than he bargained for--but maybe a little of what he wanted. --Robert Horton
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