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Press Review

Press Review

"...profoundly unsettling and superbly filmed, punching home a stiletto-stab of fear. (...)
The performances from Auteuil and Juliette Binoche as his wife are outstanding, and Haneke's icy compositional brilliance is quite unrivalled at Cannes."
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 5/16/2005

'(...) Were Michael Haneke not so detached about his gift for horror, the artist would be lost and we would be left with a good craftsman, for when he really tries —which happens, sometimes—, he can make the spectator shiver with very simple devices (...)'
Mariarosa Mancuso, Il Foglio

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'(Haneke) is presenting a great film, both a thriller and a reflexion on the power of images and their ability to generate guilt. It is not a coincidence if the character, Georges (Daniel Auteuil), is a TV presenter. (...) This film, more 'written' than Haneke's other works, makes a point about the power of language. In Hidden, every single word has a weight; what it told and what remains untold end up creating a gap which keeps widening between (the characters).'
Roberto Nepoti, La Repubblica

'(...)Haneke proves a great master of the 'classical' style: he takes his time, indulges in the contemplation of empty images, mixes fiction feature and video footage; but above all, thanks to Auteuil's talent as a psychological-miniaturist, the director is able to show us with microscopic precision how daily life can turn into a nightmare.
Behind the narrative, Hidden tackcles a universal issue: who is really innocent, who has not done, in the past, something he will regret forever? (...)'
Tullio Kezich , Il corriere della sera

'It is a mysterious and disturbing film which however leaves all the questions it raises unanswered, which wears off the spectator interest in knowing the explanation of all that has been going on on the screen. At the end of the screening, there was some applause, but everybody was mostly stunned by the unexpectedly brisk conclusion; the majority just could not react.'
Diego Galàn, El paìs, 5/15/2005

'Heneke's Hidden is full of dark spaces. An Austrian colleague described it very well (...): the structure is interesting but it is badly executed. The raw material Haneke uses is heavy philosophy and so called intellectual depth. (...)
Haneke tries to get our attention with a plot based on suspense but lacking this very element; everything is so overtly ambiguous and open that the movie ends up losing tension and dramatic impact. At the same time, Haneke creates, one more time, a space where different types of image are presented, home footage and fiction feature, truth and lies, but his treatment if the theme is blurred by the opaque narrative which lacks the vitality of Haneke's previous films, such as Funny Games."
Manuel Yañez Murillo , Miradas de Cine n°39

'It must not be easy to talk about anxiety, guilt, about the re-emerging of the darkest memories and the fear of 'what is on the other side'. Haneke manages to do it and make our hair stand on ends, although the script itself and the characters are ordinary, almost banal —unlike the volcanos threatening to burst beneath the surface. What we say, think, or do, does not seem to matter at all; there is always something beneath the surface...and Haneke knows it.'
Borja Hermoso, El mundo

'Like other films on media such as The Ring —though less spectacularly—, Haneke's film deals brilliantly with the "film within the film/film and video" motif. Not only is the story completely open, but you never know who is really "telling it".'
Der Standard, 5/17/2005

'Hidden is a fable on individual responsibility vis-à-vis collective History. The question is not to be or not to be anymore; it is to know or not to know. To Forget or to remember. To exist or be inexistant. Yet, one must be aware, as Tchekov said, that one small treason can destroy a life, since an act of cowardice will lead to more denial until the moral conscience itself is erased, and in a way, the soul is lost. They say death is contagious to the living; in Haneke, it is emptiness which is contagious to the human zombies we see on the screen, the poor naive characters who think not facing themselves keeps them from having to face the others. '
Pierre Murat, Télérama, 5/15/2005

'What is striking is the way Haneke has managed, as showed Benny’s Video and Funny Games, to create a totally 'French' universe. This film suffused with anxiety definitely belongs to that category of Haneke's work. Haneke alternates between the long shots he is very fond of and fixed shots where reality, imagination and symbols mingle; the film is a palimpsest with several possible readings depending on if the focus is on the couple, on intimacy, History, grown-up children who have their own children...Yet, each strata is a surface that something 'odd and worrying' eventually shatters.'
Michel Guilloux, L'Humanité, 5/17/2005

'Hidden underlines the necessity, for a man, to sometimes confront a therapeutic flash-back, which on the wider scale, means that all society should be able to face the past. Thus, the individual drama takes on universal proportions. The betrayal the French middle-class bourgeois inflicted to the Algerians (and the hypocrisy of the North-South relationships) is what the dispute between two old brothers refers to. Again, Haneke stages violence (cf. the impressive suicide scene) and suggests the generational cowardice all society inherits. In this respect, the last shot was a puzzle everybody present in Cannes answered differently, which surely pleased Haneke a lot.'
Jean-Luc Douin, Le Monde, 5/16/2005

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