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Emmanuelle Devos, Read My Lips
Credit: Read My Lips: Jean-Marie Leroy

Read My Lips

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As Carla, a brown smudge of a partially deaf secretary in this expertly sinister, office-as-devil’s-playground French thriller, Read My Lips, Emmanuelle Devos is the precise opposite of Stacy Edwards as the darkly attractive, hearing-impaired target of male mischief in ”In the Company of Men.” Devos (who won a César for her performance) looks truly mousy while conveying private, sullen fury; her everyday, oppressive working conditions (captured by director Jacques Audiard with slicing economy) are identifiably ordinary; and the escape she finds from her average misery is truly shocking, the opposite of victimhood. First she turns down her hearing aids to manage her rage. Then she hires a grimy ex-con (experienced thug-player Vincent Cassel) as her assistant. He can rob, she can lip-read, and Audiard contrasts their complementary skills and weaknesses (they’re both clumsy and wary of intimacy) with real originality. The attraction between these two marginal characters is complex from the start — and, refreshingly, stays that way.

Read My Lips
type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
runtime
  • 115 minutes
director

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