The Apartment

Director: Gilles Mimouni
Screenwriters: Gilles Mimouni

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


French with English subtitles.

This fanciful and romantic tale of love and obsession is a sterling feature debut by Gilles Mimouni. A blend of Gallic romanticism and Hitchcockian style, The Apartment is a delicious pastiche of five people’s passions and lives. The story circles around Max, on the verge of getting married, who suddenly overhears the voice of Lisa, his long-lost love, arguing emotionally on the phone outside the men’s room. He manages to track down her apartment, but in it he discovers another woman, who claims to be the Lisa he has overheard. She seduces him and manages to become the focus of his attention.

However, the story line is only beginning to twist. We gradually discover that not only is Lisa duplicitous with Max but also with his best friend and even the elusive object of his desires. Throw in a mad middle-aged ex-boyfriend, and the subterfuge approaches farce, but Mimouni’s sophisticated technique and playful stylishness make it all believable, exhilarating, and fun. Vincent Cassel is superb as a lover who grows from boyish heartbreak to charismatic and irresistible determination. The topnotch cast includes the maniacal Romane Bohringer and the stunning Monica Bellucci. Mimouni’s dexterity as a storyteller is augmented by his great visual style and whirlwind editing. By turns sentimental, restrained, picturesque, and action packed, The Apartment is a bonne bouchée for the romantic in all of us.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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