DVD: Get Your Ozon On with Hideaway
One of the most-anticipated movies among what's left of this country's audience for foreign films is the corporate comedy Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu and directed by François Ozon. And while Ozon is a big deal in his home country of France, his films generally get noticed Stateside only when they feature big names like Charlotte Rampling (Swimming Pool) or Isabelle Huppert (who stars alongside Deneuve and six other towering stars of French cinema in 8 Women). If you haven't already discovered the greatness of Ozon, start with Hideaway (Le Refuge), out on DVD this week from Strand Releasing Home Entertainment.
Hideaway tells the story of Mousse (Isabelle Carré), who discovers she's pregnant after surviving a drug overdose that killed her boyfriend, Louis (Melvil Poupaud). After Louis' mother tries to pressure her to abort, Mousse runs off to the country and winds up growing close to Louis' brother Paul (Louis-Ronan Choisy).
Ozon's great at emotional intimacy, and this story of a pregnancy fits perfectly with his explorations of death (Time to Leave, featuring a riveting and harrowing performance by Poupaud) and the dissolution of a marriage (5×2). But Ozon can be grandly baroque as well, with outrageous tales of the young and sexy (Criminal Lovers, Water Drops on Burning Rocks) and genre-bending murder mysteries (Swimming Pool and the gorgeous musical 8 Women).
Ozon can be dark and twisted, but also thoughtful and even sentimental. He's an unabashedly queer filmmaker who's capable of smart and incisive examinations of heterosexual relationships. And his films are essential viewing for anyone who cares about the current state of world cinema.