Read my lips (Sur mes lèvres)
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities
Carla Bhem (Emmanuelle Devos) has worked as a secretary for a property development company for a long time. Her job, basically, is everything: from handling files and answering the phone to drafting estimates and dealing with suppliers. First to arrive in the morning, last out at night...
And her reward? Badly paid, treated like mud and ordered around like a dog.
Carla has had enough. She thinks she deserves better. Only trouble is, in a male-dominated society, what hope is there for a 35-year-old woman with a so-so physique and a hearing aid in both ears?
The solution's name is Paul Angeli (Vincent Cassel), the new trainee she manages to have hired.
Paul is 25-years-old and completely unskilled in property development - in fact, he's clueless. But he makes up for it in other ways: he's a thief, fresh out of jail and good-looking into the bargain. As the saying goes, "It takes two to tango." She teaches him good manners and he teaches her bad ones.
The first results are instantly encouraging...
Persons of interest
- Emmanuelle Devos .... Carla Bhem
- Vincent Cassel .... Paul Angeli
- Olivier Gourmet .... Marchand
- Olivier Perrier .... Masson
- Olivia Bonamy .... Annie
- Bernard Alane .... Morel
- Céline Samie .... Josie
- Pierre Diot .... Keller
- François Loriquet .... Jean-François
- Serge Boutleroff .... Mammouth
- David Saracino .... Richard Carambo
- Christophe van de Velde .... Louis Carambo
- Tonino Benacquista .... Screenwriter
- Jacques Audiard .... Screenwriter
- Jacques Audiard .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Australian French Film Festival 2003: Opening film
- César Awards 2002: Best actress, best screenplay
- Toronto International Film Festival 2001: Official selection
- NB: French language dialogue with English language subtitles
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Read my lips is a little bit overdone but comes out of the oven reasonably tasty all the same.
Vincent Cassel, the dynamic actor behind a variety of fast-burning characters (such as Jean-François de Morangias in Brotherhood of the wolf, Alexei in Birthday girl and Max Kerkérian in The crimson rivers), plays Paul with such a slow-burning wick that sometimes you're not even sure there's a flame. This guy is slo-o-ow. There were times when I wanted to grab him and shake him and shout "Wake up!"
Emmanuelle Devos is dowdy. The most interesting part of her character is the bits when we hear as she hears (or doesn't hear), especially the bits when she puts in her hearing aids. Just be glad you aren't deaf. What a hassle.
The story is small and doesn't quite fill the 115 minutes, but it's an adventure nonetheless. It's up to you.
Security censorship classification
MA 15 + (Medium level violence, medium level coarse language)
115 minutes (1:55 hours)