Four women, a shadowy conspiracy, and a whole lot of acting exercises: we’re firmly in Rivette territory in one of the director’s most spellbinding explorations of the sometimes terrifyingly thin line between everyday life and the strangeness beneath it. A quartet of aspiring actresses live together while studying with a demanding coach (Bulle Ogier). As they rehearse Pierre Marivaux’s La Double inconstance, offstage drama creeps into their lives in the form of a menacing mystery man (Benoît Régent) with a sinister story to tell. Caroline Champetier’s moody lensing—muted reds, golds, and browns—creates the feeling of an all-enveloping universe operating according to its own paranoid logic.
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