Thinking that it would buy them an additional five years’ worth of job security, the workers at a French auto supply house, quarterbacked with mounting fury by an indefatigable union rep (Vincent Lindon), go on strike after their plant is shut down. (How one strikes against an already shuttered manufactory escaped me.) Their first mistake was buying the snake oil the President’s special adviser was selling. No good will ever come of that, a point that in this case proves the old saw about repetition being the key to learning. ‘Twas Alfred Hitchcock who said, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” Instead of mounting tension, director Stéphane Brizé’s uninspired adherence to cinema-verite surrenders a surplus of dull bits in need of sharpening. The performances and camerawork are natural and unrehearsed, to the point where one wishes this had something more to show for itself than expert mimicry and an inharmonious act of violence to send audiences packing. (2019) — Scott Marks
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