The Housekeeper | Chicago Reader

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Emilie Dequenne, the teenage heroine of the Dardenne brothers' Rosetta (1999), is nearly unrecognizable as a Parisian maid at loose ends who seduces her much older employer (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a divorced and depressed sound engineer who reluctantly lets himself fall for her. The story of their affair, adapted by director Claude Berri from a novel by Christian Oster, is fairly predictable, but the two leads' impressively nuanced performances make it less so, and Berri makes skillful use of both actors, as well as Catherine Breillat (director of Fat Girl, here cast as the ex-wife) and jazz pianist Rene Utreger (whose trio performs on-screen). In French with subtitles. 90 min.

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