Lonely and shy bachelor Monsieur Hire (Michel Blanc), suspected in the murder of a girl, secretly watches his young, attractive neighbor Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire) through the window. Once, when lightning flashes during a thunderstorm, she notices his face in the window and comes to him to find out what he is after. Adapting Georges Simenon’s novel, Patrice Leconte emphasized the psychological drama rather than the detective story and created a film about loneliness and voyeurism; his cold precision is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock or Fritz Lang. The low-key acting and moody soundtrack add a lot, but it’s the director who deserves the most accolades, as he manages, with only glances and gestures, to achieve a degree of eroticism that other films fail to reach even through explicit sex scenes.
Yuri German, Rovi