Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
A disillusioned French teacher's passions for literature are reawakened by a shy-yet-talented student who insinuates himself into the family life of an unsuspecting classmate in order to pen a series of voyeuristic essays. Adapted from Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga's The Boy in the Last Row, François Ozon's In the House opens to find weary educator Germain (Fabrice Luchini) wondering why he still gets up in front of the classroom every day. His enthusiasm for teaching has all bit withered away when Claude (Ernst Umhauer), a 16-year-old student who rarely speaks a word in class, suddenly develops a close friendship with middle-class schoolmate Rapha (Bastien Ughetto). Before long Claude has practically become an adoptive member of Rapha's family, furtively scrutinizing their lives while fashioning his observations into stories that hold his teacher spellbound. Claude's stories begin to take on an increasingly ominous air, however, as they become unusually focused on Rapha's pretty mother Esther (Emmanuelle Seigner). Meanwhile, by encouraging Claude to carry on writing, the newly invigorated teacher strays into morally questionable territory. By the time the young writer turns his attentions toward Germain's own wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas), the horrified teacher's foolhardy permissiveness threatens to result in shocking repercussions.
classmate, classroom, French [nationality], high-school, middle-class, student, teacher, wife, writing