Human Resources

Rated 3.0

A French college student (Jalil Lespert) takes a summer internship in the front office of his father’s factory, where he gets embroiled in the changeover to the 35-hour work week that’s sweeping the country; in time, he realizes that management is using him as a smoke screen to lay off unwanted employees—including his own father. If an earnest slice-of-life drama about French labor relations is what you’re looking for, Laurent Cantet’s film certainly fits the bill. The film has a loose, improvisational feel to it—a character’s motivations in one scene seem to contradict those in the next—but it serves to give the polemical righteousness a veneer of documentary realism. Performances are ardent and sincere, especially Lespert as the stiff-necked young hero and Jean-Claude Vallod as his morose father.