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Being At Home With Claude

In French, with English subtitles (1992)

Yves: "I wasn't stoned. It was worse than that. I was in love."

This movie is about a gay prostitute named Yves (Roy Dupuis), and the murder of his lover, Claude.

I saw this movie twice, and came to the conclusion that the first half of it is outright bad. It consists almost entirely of Yves and a police inspector (Jacques Godin) stomping around and yelling at each other. We never learn how they got into the room they are in (it isn't a police station) or why they are talking instead of proceeding with an arrest. Nothing makes much sense, and the rhythm of the acting feels off.

But all the opening scenes really do is set up the second half of the movie. And the second half is actually pretty good. After a couple of interesting flashbacks, Yves finally calms down and starts talking about his relationship with Claude, and what happened between them. Roy Dupuis gives us a powerful and subtle performance. He is really wonderful. How he looks and what he is wearing is also fascinating, because he doesn't look much like he has in other roles. His clothes and his manner work well for the character.

I've seen two versions of this movie – (1) in French with English subtitles, and (2) dubbed in English. And I can state categorically that, in my opinion, there is a huge difference: I thought the French version with subtitles was much, much better. Nearly all of this movie is dialogue, and the emotion and impact are all in the words. It is just too intimate a movie for dubbing. Plus, even though Dupuis dubbed himself and did it well, the inspector was poorly dubbed, and some of the words that the translator chose just didn't work.

It's difficult to talk much about this movie without giving away the ending. Let me just say that it was not what I expected.

Two out of four stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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