The House by the Canal | Chicago Reader

The House by the Canal

Based on a Georges Simenon novel, this 2003 made-for-TV drama is conspicuously short on sympathetic characters. After her father dies, 16-year-old Edmée (the beautiful Isild Le Besco) goes to live on her aunt and uncle's farm. Director Alain Berliner (Ma vie en rose) strings pretty pictures together but never makes the girl's moody behavior—which includes flirting with her two male cousins, one of whom is an aggressive boor—psychologically credible; the superimposition of a dead boy's face to signify guilt looks a lot hokier today than it did when D.W. Griffith used the device back in 1914. In subtitled French and unsubtitled Flemish. 100 min.

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