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4.0
527 Ratings

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

L'enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq

Directed by Guillaume Nicloux
France, 2014
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

The author Michel Houellebecq (playing himself) is abducted by three amateur kidnappers who bungle their efforts from start to finish. Inspired by the rumours that circulated on the internet when the writer gave no signs of life during a promotional tour in 2011.

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The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq Directed by Guillaume Nicloux
A familiarity with Houellebecq's writing is helpful to appreciating every nuance of Nicloux's film, though isn't absolutely necessary. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq is on one hand a rather ingenious take on the artist documentary... on the other, a tabletop comedy of manners, closer to something by Gianni Di Gregorio or Hong Sang-soo than to Houellebecq's own work, fixated as it is in epochal shifts in human development.
March 25, 2015
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Nicloux has great fun with the conceit, imagining that Houellebecq was snatched not by terrorists but by three incompetent criminals... The tête-à-têtes — lively, illuminating, and never condescending exchanges between class-discordant individuals — suggest a reverse case of Stockholm syndrome, in which Luc and his crew grow even fonder of their esteemed hostage.
March 24, 2015
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Guillaume Nicloux's film plays cannily against expectations. What could easily have just been a vehicle for Houellebecq's dependably scandalizing pronouncements turns out to be something more interesting: a portrait of the highly complicated personality in which those pronouncements gestate.
March 24, 2015
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