Michael ★★

A fairly stupid, intensely empty-headed movie about a pedophile with a boy stashed in his basement. I’m not sure if the intended effect here was to shock or to create black comedy, but the film fails to work on either front. The supposed formal rigor that was attributed to the film at Cannes turns out to be superficial at best, delivering neither a sense of routine nor a deadening repetition of events. Schleinzer’s mock-rigor is about as convincing as the mock-shock that the film feigns in its exploration of its seedy subject matter. The last fifteen minutes, or so, in which we sit through misplaced suspense about the fate of the captured boy, expose the film as the cheap stunt that it is.