(R) 3.5 Stars
Completely befuddling yet beguiling entertainment. If you're in the midst of a macramé project, you can probably bring it with you, as long as you're not disturbing your fellow theater-goers.
I gave this a hefty rating not because of writer/director Michael Heneke's cinema-pedigree (Code Unknown, The Piano Player) or the film's litany of awards (Best Director at Cannes, nominated for a Golden Palm), but because it was a delight - if ultimately futile - to try and figure out a few key answers over food and drinks with friends afterwards.
The key question: Who is videotaping this family? I can't answer it, and revealing my hapless circumstance in this review doesn't, I believe, spoil anything for you. I could give away everything but ... perhaps two scenes ... and it wouldn't spoil anything. You'd still be scratching your head, unless, of course, you're the middle-class French bourgeoisie at whom this film is ostensibly aimed.
Georges and Anne Laurant (Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche) are a middle-class French couple so busy with their day jobs, they don't always know the whereabouts of their 12-year-old son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). The film opens with a many-minutes-long, absolutely static shot of the exterior of their building, which we eventually discover is a surveillance videotape recorded by ... who knows. Georges and Anne watch the tape, mystified; subsequent tapes torque the mystery further as the content becomes more personal to Georges; and the accompanying drawings portend an act of violence.
Each scene in the film is a fractal for the overall narrative: Clues are planted here and there - the kind of details you can mull over later in your quest to solve the puzzle. But don't work too hard at the conundrum here; after all, the title is Caché, meaning "hidden." Besides, you can enjoy the acting, the pretty (if often hidden) actors and the existential imbroglio - and then there's always that macramé project to finish, too.