Ursula Meir’s directorial debut opens with a family that lives beside a closed highway out in the country. They’re carefree happy, and loving. Then the highway, after threatening to for ten years, opens. Their lives are disrupted, changed to the core. The peace that they had known is now threatened by pollution, noise and otherwise. Tensions mount, they can’t sleep. They try and take back control of their lives, but are powerless to do so against the forces allied against them. They fight amongst themselves, their health, both mental and physical, deteriorates.
Isabelle Huppert is Marthe, the mother of two daughters (Marion and Judith), and a young son. Husband Michel has moved the family there in order to accommodate Marthe’s fragile sensibilities. It becomes clear that she can’t face moving again, so they are there to stay, come what may. The film moves subtly from openness to claustrophobia, from Eden to Hell, as the very open family is walled in by outside forces.
Huppert, a consummate actress is surrounded by a fine supporting cast in this off beat film.