Beautiful setting. Fantastic cast and acting. This film is a mad, psychotic black comedy. I enjoyed the humour (personally I think it's actually the first French film that I genuinely appreciated as a comedy :) I found the political references confusing, I guess because I never lived in France or Switzerland. Excellent!
Chilean director Raúl Ruiz is still a hugely under-rated figure who consistently redefined cinematic surrealism on his own terms. However, it is hard to much like this macabre French farce of madness and murder. Though eliciting the worthy influences of Chabrol, Hitchcock, Buñuel and even Pasolini, the film's strange poeticism fails to deepen or develop and the black humour palls long before the end credits.
Saddened to hear of Ruiz' passing. For me, he was the most interesting Latin American filmmaker alive until his death a few days ago. Each work, in exile, in languages foreign to him, had subtle references to what he loved most--his native country Chile and Latin America. My review of his 2003 film "That Day" appears at http://moviessansfrontiers.blogspot.com/2010/06/101-chilean-director-in-exile-raul.html.
An unknown masterpiece with one of the most marvelous French actor cast you can imagine. Also my favorite performances of both Bernard Giraudeau and Elsa Zylberstein. Raul Ruiz excels at capturing and recreating the Swiss ambience of a small village with a subtly faked tone. The scenes inside and around the café at the beginning still haunts me.