The Trout

Losey and Huppert-a lethal pairing. The blacklisted American director who went on to work in England (The Servant) and France (Mr. Klein) is at once subterranean and over-the-top, and who else does that describe? Huppert plays a paysanne, Frédérique, who comes in the thrall of wealthy bankers Jean-Pierre Cassel and his wife Jeanne Moreau. Allowing herself to be lured on a trip to Tokyo, she finds the plush surroundings as alien as the culture, and explores both like the rube she is (“c'est où, le satori?”)-until her quick-study instincts kick in. Meanwhile, her fragile husband is left to play trout to Cassel's line. All the Losey themes are here-master and servant, scary children, sexual and class ambiguity; even Don Giovanni's Ruggiero Raimondi has a cameo-but not in any apparent order. Hence the critics' cool reception. But disorder may be a symptom in a film the Village Voice called “a field day for semiologists.”

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