This social-realist portrait of the individuals on the sharp finish of France’s employment disaster – the contract cleaners who toil each night time for minimal wage, with minimal staff’ rights – is a depressingly well timed work. Directed by Emmanuel Carrère, the themes are acquainted – there’s a kinship with the work of the Dardenne brothers and Ken Loach – however this adaptation of a factual ebook by journalist Florence Aubenas weaves in one other angle: the central character, performed by Juliette Binoche, shouldn’t be who she says she is.
Marianne is a profitable author who’s working undercover as a cleaner with a view to collect materials for her subsequent ebook, an exposé of the experiences of invisible contractors and their subsistence on the breadline financial system. The movie raises a thorny moral query: is mendacity and deceptive justifiable when the goals are laudable? Is a friendship constructed on deception even a friendship in any respect? Binoche is the star and can undoubtedly be the primary draw, but it surely’s an incendiary, scene-dominating flip from newcomer Hélène Lambert that provides the image its jagged, livid power.