Succession meets Knives Out on this comedy-thriller directed by Sébastien Marnier in what’s a particularly French comedian fashion: tongue-in-cheek, a bit of frothy, tiptoeing near camp. It stars Name My Agent’s good Laure Calamy as a scheming manufacturing facility employee who wheedles her means right into a dysfunctional mega-rich household. Calamy is usually forged as likable, relatable girls however right here she does a really convincing Isabelle Huppert (circa her Claude Chabrol years); there’s one thing a bit off about her character from the beginning, probably even unhinged.

Calamy is Stéphane – at the very least that’s what she calls herself. Bored of her job on the manufacturing line at a fish manufacturing facility, and broke, out of the blue she calls her father, a self-made resort and restaurant tycoon. (They’ve by no means met; she is the results of one in every of his many affairs.) That is Serge (Jacques Weber), an ageing lion of a person, with a mane of white hair, frail after a stroke however nonetheless harmful. Among the funniest scenes are at his villa, garishly full of taxidermy and ghastly furnishings. Serge introduces Stéphane to his spouse Louise (Dominique Blanc), a frivolous compulsive shopper with a bitchy streak, and their shiny grownup daughter George (Doria Tillier), who drops her masks of emotionless disdain to shoot Stéphane dagger stares. Within the double crossing and backstabbing that follows, nobody is innocent. Serge is a monster of Logan Roy proportions. George is making an attempt to grab management of the household enterprise, and have her dad declared incompetent by a decide.

For some time The Origin of Evil seems prefer it would possibly shake out as a feminist story: the ladies uniting to topple an oppressive patriarch. However Marnier’s script, co-written by Fanny Burdino, is extra cynical than that, and casting the usually likable Calamy solely provides to the air of deception, maintaining us guessing about her character’s motives. Unquestionably that is straightforward leisure, by no means uninteresting, and it has some shrewd issues to say about class and cash – although the satire may need been sharper and the operating time shorter by a great 20 minutes.

The Origin of Evil is in UK cinemas from 29 March.


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