After the lacklustre Criminal Lovers, François Ozon revisits the form of his early shorts with this sharp chamber piece.
Adapted from a play by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, it charts an erotic inward spiral which begins with Leopold (Bernard Giraudeau), an oily businessman, seducing gauche young Franz (Malik Zidi). A stifling home life soon makes their love nest feel more like a prison, and a visit from their ex-girlfriends shows the true cost of coupledom.
If the pre-coital flourish near the finale is typical of the director's flair for sexuality, it still nails Fassbinder's grasp of domesticity's pitfalls perfectly. An exercise in theatrical film-making for sure - but acid twists on love don't come much keener.