Rien ne va plus

Director: Claude Chabrol

Another of Chabrol’s blackly comic thrillers in which the real intrigue has to do with the relationship between the central couple rather than the plot, Rien ne va plus is a sly concoction involving a pair of small-time swindlers who get in over their heads when they attempt to rob a nasty criminal outfit. Betty (Isabelle Huppert) and Victor (Michel Serrault) are a civilised, witty couple of operators whose relationship is highly ambiguous. On different occasions they act like father and daughter, husband and wife, or just business partners. And since they are both con-artists, how can they really trust one another? Chabrol delights in teasing us with such questions as he piles on plot twists and droll observations (irreverent japes about food, national stereotypes and classical music). This is lightweight Chabrol, perhaps, but the direction is a model of economy and the mystery at the heart of central relationship is captured in superb performances by the two leads.

France/Switzerland, 1997.
English subtitles.
Dolby digital stereo.
104 mins.

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