A classy thriller from the mid-1990s, L'appartement just doesn't get old, despite the use of telephone booths as a plot device (mobile phones would destroy the intrigue in moments). I first watched this Gilles Mimouni-directed film years ago, and was totally baffled by it. Watching it again and again, it's one of those films that reveals a little more each time – although I'll still never understand the ending.
If that makes L'appartment sound complex, it's not, really. I'm just very dense when it comes to thrillers. The film, which incidentally brought Vincent Cassel and his wife Monica Bellucci together, is a twisting tale of obsessive love, told partly in flashback. Cassel plays Max, a young man working in finance and recently engaged to Muriel (Sandrine Kiberlain). Just as Max is set to depart for a business trip to Tokyo, he catches a glimpse of 'the one that got away', his ex, Lisa (Bellucci). Or at least he thinks he does.
Max secretly abandons his trip, and in the week that follows, attempts to reconnect with Lisa. But just when he thinks he's found her, 'Lisa' turns out to be another, similar-looking, woman with the same name. A confused Max finds himself strangely drawn to this stranger, unaware that she has a hidden agenda. The original Lisa's jealous, married lover Daniel, and Max's naive, lovelorn friend Lucien complicate matters still further as events build towards a shattering climax.
Beautifully filmed, deftly plotted and starring a wealth of talented actors, L'appartement is a film well worth seeking out.