Lemming (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/10/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 126 mins

By turns disturbing, creepy, darkly funny and full of suspense, this is a genuinely gripping, utterly bizarre thriller. One of the best films of the London Film Festival.

The Background
Lemming is co-written and directed by Dominik Moll, who made the equally offbeat cult thriller Harry, He’s Here To Help in 2000. Lemming reunites Moll with Harry co-star Laurent Lucas and the result is an utterly bizarre thriller that might just be the weirdest film of the year.

The Story
Lucas stars as Alain Getty, a hotshot gadget inventor who seems to have it all: he’s just accepted a job at a prestigious firm run by Richard Pollock (André Dussolier) and he’s moved into a new house with his gorgeous home-maker wife, Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

However, things start to go horribly wrong after they invite Richard and his highly-strung wife, Alice (Charlotte Rampling) to dinner and Alice makes an unpleasant scene. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Alain makes an unusual discovery when he unblocks the sink and finds a small Scandinavian rodent (the lemming of the title) stuck in the pipe. As the seemingly perfect relationship between Alain and Benedicte becomes more and more strained, is the lemming somehow to blame?

The Good
The performances are superb. Rampling, in particular, is like a fragile zombie, with her deathly pale make-up and her corpse-like stare. Lucas makes a solid, sympathetic lead and there’s terrific support from both the softly-spoken Gainsbourg and Dussolier, whose character is both likeable and ever-so-slightly creepy at the same time.

The Great
Moll’s direction is excellent, perfectly blending the suspense and paranoia of a Hitchcock film with suburban surrealism. The sound design is equally impressive and adds considerably to the film.

The Conclusion
In short, Lemming is a deeply weird, extremely suspenseful and genuinely creepy thriller that deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 18/10/2017 17:30

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