Read My Lips

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Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Devos, Olivier Gourmet, Olivier Perrier, Olivia Bonamy

Director: Jacques Audiard

Carla (Emannuelle Devos) is an unremarkable woman working as a secretary-stroke-office manager at a firm of architects in France. Somewhat unassertive and rather dowdy, she finds herself put upon by colleagues and has little fun outside work. She does have a very special skill though, she’s acquired an extraordinary gift of being able to lip-read at some distance – a skill she’s honed partly because she’s almost completely deaf.

Realising she’s finding it increasingly difficult to cope with her work-load, Carla asks her boss if she can hire an assistant. When the answer is affirmative, Carla begins a little fantasy about the kind of person she’d like to have work for her. Hard-working – definitely. Conscientious – yes. Male – definitely. Nice hands – a must! The HR officer is somewhat shocked but she does send Carla a young man to help with the photocopying, Paul (Vincent Cassel), recently released from prison but looking for a second chance.

And so begins their relationship and Carla’s life is upturned as she is introduced to a new world bordering violence, crime and sexual passion. She’s also able to turn the tables on some of the people who’ve written her off as a dowdy deaf girl who works too hard. Moving away from the office, READ MY LIPS turns into a fast moving heist movie, thrilling at times your sympathies shift from character to character.

3 out of 6 stars