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French writer-actress Agnes Jaoui has a keen sense of middle-class aspirations and cultural self-consciousness, and though her work may be decidedly middlebrow, its verve and sensitivity make it entirely honorable. This follow-up to her 2000 debut, The Taste of Others, delves into the milieu of a well-known, self-centered author suffering from writer's block (well played by Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jaoui's writing partner and former husband) and his chubby grown daughter (Marilou Berry), who's frustrated by his inattention. Jaoui plays the daughter's voice teacher, and the movie is acute in its observation of how she and other characters are bent out of shape by their deference to the famous monster. The French title is Comme une image (“like an image”), but Tennessee Williams's phrase “the catastrophe of success” seems more appropriate. In French with subtitles. PG-13, 110 min.

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