Dry Cleaning

Rated 3.0 A middle-aged, middle-class French couple (Miou-Miou, Charles Berling) take in a young bisexual drifter (Stanislas Merhar) who disrupts their blandly comfortable existence. Written by Gilles Taurand and director Anne Fontaine, this low-key domestic drama avoids all the soap-opera traps that seem to always be lurking around the fringes of the story. Fontaine keeps the character relationships ambiguous and puzzling, with undercurrents of peril and discontent. Sexual betrayal is invetible under the circumstances, but when the expected scenes come they are furtive, fleeting and unsatisfying for those concerned. All three of these people are ambivalent about themselves and each other, with the apprehensive husband (Berling), the fulcrum for the film’s action, the most ambivalent and uncertain of all.