Paranoia grips a bourgeois European family when a series of menacing videotapes begin turning up on their doorstep in Piano Teacher director Michael Haneke's dark drama. From the outside, Georges (Daniel Auteuil), Anne (Juliette Binoche), and son Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky) are the typical middle-class European family, but when a series of mysterious videotapes accompanied by morbid drawings reveal that someone has been monitoring their house, Georges begins to suspect that his past has come back to haunt him. It was during France's occupation of Algeria that Georges wronged a young Algerian boy named Majid (Maurice Bénichou), and as the enraged father and husband begins tracking down his former friend, the line between victim and predator becomes increasingly blurred. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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This movie is very well directed and acted. While it's not what Americans are accustomed to (like, definitive conclusions at the end), this movie offers a great chance to sit with family and friends afterwards to share thoughts, interpretations and conclusions based on what you saw, thought and felt. I personally loved it just because it was unusual, left me with some contemplation, and it reminded me of when I lived in Europe. Also, the way it was directed, seemed to add to it being more realistic, as if you were observing a true French family from a short distance. Just have patience, watch closely....It's a most unusual "suspense".
I found the film hard to watch. The main character was unlikeable and insensitive. But the main plot line intrigued me. It was a true riddle to me who'd been sending the tapes. Like the wife, I believed the childhood boarder, now a man, when he protested his innocence. Some of my questions weren't resolved by the ending and I was irritated until I heard the director's (Haneke;s) explanations. He was going after a feeling or a clash of opposing feelings in us the audience. And he was inserting a violent piece of France's history into our collective conscience that had been completely forgotten. Worth the effort. PS. I fast forwarded through some of the time exposures of the front door.