french films > Nightcap

Nightcap

Nightcap

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Jacques Dutronc, Isabelle Huppert, Michel Robin

year: 2000

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Claude Chabrol

runtime: 99

Claude Chabrol's most recent take on the subgenre that he pioneered — the moody suspense drama built on a decaying family dynamic — has a softly chilling first hour before the denouement has you wondering if the cast hasn't had too much hot chocolate, especially the murderous effective brew that Mika Muller (Isabelle Huppert), the owner of a large Swiss chocolate concern in Lausanne, ladles for her guests. Mr. Chabrol's droll assault on petit-bourgeois security feels like a satire of "Ordinary People" directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Though the director is unable to bring the film to a satisfying close, the audience may find itself playing the game that Mr. Chabrol inspires more than any other European director

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