Private Property Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: An old, but beautiful farm in Belgium is home to Pascale (Huppert) and her twin sons Thierry and Francois (Jérémie and Yannick Renier). Although loving and ostensibly supportive of one another, each is still reeling from the divorce that divided the family some years earlier. (New Yorker Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 100
    An impeccably acted character drama revolving around a mother and her teenage twin sons, Private Property shows how strong and how terrifying the bonds within families can be. Directed by Belgium's Joachim Lafosse, it etches the line between love and hate with a savagery that is almost unprecedented.
  2. 88
    What draws us into Private Property is how so many things happen under the surface, never commented upon.
  3. 83
    Like many French films of its kind, Private Property remains content to simply observe a situation without tidying up the narrative, which in this case leaves some big questions unanswered. But Lafosse knows that problems that beg for a resolution sometimes don't get one.
  4. 75
    Lafosse's razor sharp dissection of relationships strained to the breaking point is hypnotic in a road-accident kind of way.
  5. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Lafosse's frustrating, yet beautifully elegiac coda emphasizes the point that his production and storytelling style have been making throughout: Private Property is about processes, not conclusions.
  6. 75
    Huppert is, as usual, superb, proving yet again that she is the finest actress working in France today.
  7. The performances are impeccable, but while director Joachim Lafosse carefully creates an atmosphere of suffocating dread, he could have let a little more air into this simmering hothouse.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 29, 2013
    A descent into a dysfunctional family in the french style of film as observation. Isabelle Huppert plays a divorced mother of two young maleA descent into a dysfunctional family in the french style of film as observation. Isabelle Huppert plays a divorced mother of two young male adult sons, who seem like dumb and dumber with anger and dependency issues. There are hints that the mother is unclear about boundaries, and unclear about the role of motherhood, and aching for some freedom. However the ties that ensnare them run deep and the immaturity and shallowness of the sons is matched by the mother's impotency, Scariest of all is the blond son, a teeming morass of a budding infantile sociopath, but as impotent as his mother, but not quite as dependent as his simpler brother. We know there is not going to be any acceptable resolution to the pathology, and it will take a tragedy to break the force of gravity that holds them enmeshed, but that break will be temporary. Expand