By Admin | April 1, 2000

Who says weirdness always needs a point? Somewhere in the same building where Dorothy Valens lived (if you don’t get the reference, you don’t want to see this movie, anyway), you can find Francis (Aidan Gillen). Painfully shy and withdrawn, his only connections with the world are his religious indoctrination and his day job at a photo lab. Most of his time is consumes caring for his loud, drunken, invalid mother (played by Susan Tyrrell, you know he has problems.) It turns out to be a short step from studying photos of other families at work to spying on his beautiful French neighbor, Gloria (Emmanuelle Seigner), through a newly discovered hole under the stairs.
After Francis intervenes when Gloria is mugged, she invites him to her apartment for dinner. The two become lovers, but due to Francis’ continued spying, paranoia, a twisted family secret, and a very loose grip on sanity, surrealism ensues.
Be warned, the ending is maddeningly ambiguous. Director/screenwriter Mark Hanlon is shooting for “Eraserhead”-era Lynch, so when in doubt, presume the weirdness is mostly in Francis’ head. Even if the last moments are a little cryptic, I was still entertained. A little nudity, a lot of willful strangeness, Susan Tyrrell, and a cameo by Marry Groener (the Mayor from “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”) all add up to a movie my mother would hate. In this case, that’s good enough for me.

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