Blu-ray Cach [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 4638103),
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Writer/director Michael Haneke delivers a masterpiece of unsettlement with CACH. Life seems perfect for Georges (Daniel Auteuil) and Anne (Juliette Binoche), a bourgeois Parisian couple who live in a comfortable home with their adolescent son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). But when an anonymous videotape turns up on their doorstep, showing their house under surveillance from across the street, their calm life begins to spiral out of control. Subsequent videotapes arrive, accompanied by mysterious drawings, and gradually Georges becomes convinced that he's being tormented by a figure from his past. But when he confronts him, the man assures Georges he is innocent. A growing sense of guilt begins to rise in Georges as he recalls his less-than-angelic childhood, yet for some reason he's unable to be completely honest with Anne. Soon, their happy home is an emotional battleground, leading to a climax that is breathtaking in its ferocity and ambiguousness.
Though Haneke's film works first and foremost as an insidious thriller, it is also a powerful commentary on the urban paranoia and racism that continue to permeate modern society. Without using a score, and keeping his camera detached and static, Haneke nonetheless establishes a nearly unbearable level of tension. Not for the squeamish, CACH remains a work of menacing brilliance, and was the winner of the Best Director award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Richard
"[A] fabulously upsetting, doesn't-leave-your-head thriller....The picture moves with stealth, enjoying its own thriller-ness as hints are laid and mislaid." -- Grade: A
"[U]nsettling and tense, even shocking. And its story of enduring tensions between an Algerian immigrant and a well-off French family is particularly timely."
"[T]aut, terse, brisk and immediately engaging....This is provocative filmmaking at its finest, boasting portrayals that are impeccable because they are so completely natural."
Los Angeles Times
"[A] tense, politically tinged psychological thriller about vengeance and injustice."
New York Times
"[T]his beautifully controlled, gripping film benefits from the pitch-perfect performances of Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche."
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche are masterful....It's brilliantly tense, original and hypnotic."
"HIDDEN is really the latest of Haneke's portraits of the bourgeois European family and its discontents....Haneke's most rigorous yet."
Sight and Sound
5 stars out of 5 -- "HIDDEN's story is tight, its characters compulsive....[Haneke] has a point, and it's chilling and beautifully made."
4 stars out of 4 -- "It's a moral and political allegory wrapped in the husk of a suspense thriller, and Haneke makes their nightmares ours by hiding a few puzzle pieces."
5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] masterpiece....[With an] intentionally cryptic narrative. It's not called HIDDEN for nothing."
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