After developing a flying web-cam Alain has his boss and wife over for dinner. She turns up to be very rude, and the same night Alain finds a live rare Scandinavian lemming clogging up the kitchen sink. The night things start going wrong.
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The automation engineer Alain Getty and his beloved wife Bénédicte have just moved to the suburb of Bel-Air. Alain has developed the prototype of a flying web-cam for Pollock S.A., a high-tech company. After a successful presentation of his project to their clients, Alain invites his boss Richard Pollock and his wife Alice for dinner at his home. The couple arrives late, and Alice is extremely rude, insulting her husband and the young couple, and forcing Richard to leave the house earlier. During the night, Alain finds a rare Scandinavian lemming stuck in the siphon of the sink in the kitchen. On the next night, Alice unsuccessfully tries to seduce Alain after-hours in the laboratory of the company. On the next afternoon, she visits Bénédicte to apologize her behavior and cynically tells her sexual harassment to her husband. Then she locks herself in a room and commits suicide. On the next days, Bénédicte changes her behavior and relationship with Alain, seeming to be possessed by ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A Mind-bending Film that Challenges the Viewer: What is Dream and What is Reality?
Nightmares have never been so decidedly well scripted as in LEMMING, another bizarre creation by French director Dominik Moll ('With a Friend like Harry', 'Intimacy') and writer Gilles Marchand ('Red Lights', 'Who Killed Bambi?', 'Bon voyage', 'Tender Souls', 'Joyeux Noël'). As played by a superlative quartet of actors - Charlotte Rampling, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Laurent Lucas, and André Dussollier - the film is no easy path to follow but one that in retrospect seems to fit together like a Chinese puzzle.
The story involves the 'model couple' who invite the rogue older couple to dinner where a belated arrival heralds the singly strange behavior of the boss' wife. When the outrageously 'eccentric' wife subsequently is thwarted in a seduction of the model husband and the model husband fails to immediately communicate this embarrassing encounter to his young wife, the nightmare begins: the tale embraces suicide, alienation, adultery, philandering, murder, abandonment, a car crash - all seemingly related in a linear sense. But as it turns out, in the end of the film the events appear to be the fodder of a nightmare that could only have been induced by a simple initial guilt of lack of communication.
The 'lemming' of the title refers not only to a Scandinavian rodent that is found in the plumbing of the young couple's kitchen, but it also is part of the nightmare of the concept that lemmings 'commit suicide' in their migration from their overpopulated Scandinavia to the oceans of death beyond their home. In retrospect each piece of the bizarre story is laid very carefully in the opening of the film, at times a bit occult but the pieces are there. Rampling and Gainsbourg are their usual beautiful and gifted selves in very tough roles, and the entire cast is on target, succeeding in catching us off guard at every turn. Perhaps this is not a 'great movie', but it certainly is a fine exercise for the mind and gives further evidence that Dominik Moll is a formidable artist. Grady Harp, September 06
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