French writer-director Laurent Cantet's follow-up to the acclaimed Human Resources is an intriguing portrayal of a middle-class man's elaborately constructed double-life.
Unable to tell his wife (Karin Viard) and three children that he's lost his management consultant post, Vincent (Aurélien Recoing) makes up a new position with the UN in Geneva. But things get out of hand when he involves his friends in a fake investment scheme, borrows money from his father (Jean-Pierre Mangeot) for a Swiss flat, and then encounters the wily Jean-Michel (Serge Livrozet), a stolen goods trafficker who's looking for extra assistance.
Mixing professional and non-professional actors, Cantet elicits a superb central performance from the gentle, chameleonic Recoing, who calmly blends into his various environments - be they a mountain cabin, an office or a motorway layby. The director must be praised for never trying to `explain' his lead character's psychology, instead suggesting his fluctuating mental state through increasingly abstract imagery. An understated treat.