Perverse desires & latent fantasies: Ozon’s In the House

Pivoting around that old archetypal ‘Mrs Robinson’ gem, Ozon’s In the House is a transgressive landslide of characters’ perverse desires and latent fantasies – or should that be the other way round?

Germain (Fabrice Luchini), a failed novelist who finds himself teaching creative writing, becomes enraptured with the soap-opera style story of his sixteen year-old student, Claude (Ernst Umhauer). The main character of his own story, Claude becomes transfixed with his friend’s mother: his voyeurism becomes increasingly perverse and invasive.

Lurking in the background of Claude’s prose, Germain appears in a Woody Allen type role, murmuring uneasily and encouraging rewrites of rapidly domino-ing desires. Freud would be burning up with this visual feast of fetish.

Whether the world conjured by Claude lies in the gutter of reality or fiction is never clear, and it is that which makes In the House so completely consuming.


In the House – François Ozon (2012, France)

Thanks to Paul Ridd for the free LFF screening 🙂

4 thoughts on “Perverse desires & latent fantasies: Ozon’s In the House

  1. Good review (and the still you’ve chosen really sums it up!)

    What was your screening like? Ours was a packed house, applause at the end – this type of highbrow French film is real ‘festival fodder’…

    • Thanks, yeah that picture pretty much says it all! My screening was fairly packed and applause for sure, though audience was pretty shy to ask Ozon anything in the Q&A at the end. It certainly is.. I’m pretty distressed to have not got to see Haneke’s Amour (definitely the same category!)

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