Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.
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Francois Ozon ("Swimming Pool" - 2003) continues his cinematic quest at weighing social pressures against the internal demands of the individual.
"Hideaway" ("Le refuge") cuts a wide arc across social strata to tell the story of a twentysomething girl named Mousse (Isabelle Carré) whose sexual abuse when she was sixteen has led her into a heroin-addiction affair with spoiled brat Louis (Melvil Poupaud).
A bad batch of junk kills Louis and leaves Mousse in a six-hour coma from which she awakens to discover that she is pregnant. Louis's rich bitch mom takes Mousse aside at the wake to confirm Louis as the baby's father, and demand that Mousse have an abortion with the assistance of a family doctor. Mousse agrees.
Cut to one very pregnant Mousse on a quiet retreat in a seaside chateau on loan from her absent sexual abuser from days gone by. Mousse is not exactly pleased when Louis's gay brother Paul (Louis-Ronan Choisy) drops in unexpectedly to spend a few days before traveling onto Spain.
The plot thickens as Paul slips into an affair with the home's groundskeeper when he isn't getting better acquainted with Mousse. A telling event occurs during an afternoon on the beach when a female stranger admires Mousse's extended belly and starts giving advice about how to look after the baby while its still in the womb. Mousse takes umbrage at the woman's intrusion and tells her off in quick fashion.
Even the peaceful refuge of the film's title is no guard against sidelong attacks from strangers. A married man with a pregnancy fetish picks her up at a cafe, and even Paul's gayness doesn't stop him from exploiting the intimacy he works his way into with Mousse. More complex than meets the eye, "Hideaway" is an honest film that commands consideration and discussion after you see it. By all means, see it.
Rated. 109 mins.
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