A gripping satire on bourgeois Europeans and the people who serve them.
Isabelle Huppert plays Anne Laurent, effectively the chatelaine of a magnificent house and estate in Calais, having taken over the lucrative family construction and transport business from her ageing father Georges. He is suffering from incipient dementia, and is waited on like a dispossessed Shakespearean king by the family’s Moroccan servants Rachid and Jamila – who are periodically subject to racist condescension. Anne herself is getting engaged to the British lawyer handling a new UK deal: Lawrence, played by Toby Jones.
This household is clenched with fear and anxiety. Anne’s drunken deadbeat son Pierre, supposedly a site supervisor has, through negligence, allowed a catastrophic accident which puts the firm in line for a huge civil suit. Meanwhile, Anne’s brother Thomas has secrets of his own and must now look after the 12-year-old daughter of his previous marriage and accept her into their creepy manorial family compound. This is the eerily self-possessed and computer-savvy Ève whose mother is now terribly ill in hospital after a drug overdose, the cause of which is queasily unclear. And behind all this, the refugees trudge the streets of Calais, waiting to make another attempt at the tunnel.