Thursday, May 28, 2009

Private Property (2006)

Oh what a tangled web. The Reniers are terrific as twin brothers suffering from a horrendous case of arrested development. They portray 20 somethings who still live at home, roughhouse like school children and, shockingly, still take baths together. They clearly have no intention of ever growing up and going out into the world.

Their behavior is indulged by their divorced parents, who have coddled them for years out of guilt. The boys' idyllic existence is threatened when mom (Isabelle Huppert) decides to sell their rambling farmhouse and use the proceeds to pursue her lifelong dream. The twins' selfish reaction, while disgusting, does have legal merit and indeed that is the conundrum of this film.

As much as you want to kick the young men in the arse, you realize that they are not entirely responsible for their brattishness. In fact, all the characters here are well intentioned, but good intentions are not enough to prevent, and may even aid, the near destruction of this family.

The divergence of opinions about this movie is surprising but understandable. The characters and situations presented in this film are so human, so true to life that you will likely be either repulsed or totally absorbed. Or in this reviewer's case, both.
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