Writer/director Michael Haneke delivers a masterpiece of unsettlement with CACHÉ.
Life seems perfect for Georges (Daniel Auteuil) and Anne (Juliette Binoche), a bourgeois Parisian couple who live in a comfortable home with their adolescent son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky).
But when an anonymous videotape turns up on their doorstep, showing their house under surveillance from across the street, their calm life begins to spiral out of control. Subsequent videotapes arrive, accompanied by mysterious drawings, and gradually Georges becomes convinced that he's being tormented by a figure from his past.
But when he confronts him, the man assures Georges he is innocent. A growing sense of guilt begins to rise in Georges as he recalls his less-than-angelic childhood, yet for some reason he's unable to be completely honest with Anne.
Soon, their happy home is an emotional battleground, leading to a climax that is breathtaking in its ferocity and ambiguousness.
Though Haneke's film works first and foremost as an insidious thriller, it is also a powerful commentary on the urban paranoia and racism that continue to permeate modern society.
Without using a score, and keeping his camera detached and static, Haneke nonetheless establishes a nearly unbearable level of tension. Not for the squeamish, CACHÉ remains a work of menacing brilliance, and was the winner of the Best Director award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.