Conclusion: There's something deliciously yet fleetingly smart about In the House , which at its best points to director FranÃ§ois Ozon -- not the first-rate filmmaker he once promised to be, but a reliable creator of actually elegant, actually inspired pastiches -- as a successor to the late, often great Claude Chabrol's obsession with the calm nihilism he saw permeating bourgeois existence.
Conclusion: In the House asks many more questions than it ultimately answers, but that's part of what makes this film so incredibly provocative. Ozon seems to be telling one story, but it soon becomes obvious that the filmmaker is actually leading the viewer on a "meta" quest which in some ways is reminiscent of another legendary French filmmaker— Jean-Luc Godard.
Excerpt: In The White Album , Joan Didion wrote that we "tell ourselves stories in order to live," and, with the cheeky dark comedy In the House , bad-boy French auteur François Ozon flips that idea and sets out to confront characters whose lives, and the lives of those they spin yarns around, are twisted by the truth-seeking and illusion-creating narratives they obsess over.
Excerpt: "In the House" cleverly and deliberately blurs the line between fact and fiction. As the plot develops, we are left to ponder what game is being played. This is a clever movie where the audience could feel as manipulated as any of the characters; is there a disquieting undertone of malevolence or was it imagined? After all, this is a witty story about story-telling and it is a good story well told. Inside, outside, and upside down.