Charlotte is a young, single woman. A freelance writer, she makes a living writing books on demand. Although her publications are all erotic novels, this could not be said to influence her own lifestyle in any way. Charlotte lives in a split-level apartment; the productive chaos around her affords just the right ambience to shut out distractions. Then, one day, her father dies and, all at once, her life changes completely. Shortly after his death, Charlottes mother, Catherine, turns up on her doorstep. A piano teacher, she moves into Charlottes apartment, bringing her luggage, her furniture, her instrument and her pupils in tow. Charlotte has no alternative but to move into the second floor of the apartment, allowing Catherine to make herself at home on the lower level. In spite of this, the women soon discover that the apartment is simply too small and uncomfortable for both of them. They decide they must sell the flat and move out. However, in order to sell, they are obliged to endure an endless succession of prospective buyers traipsing through their two storeys, turning the whole apartment upside down This film is really about me, says Chantal Akerman of her new comedy. My very first film was a comedy and Im a bit of a Chaplinesque figure altogether. Whenever Im eating, Im bound to drop something and, when Im out walking, my shoelaces are often undone. Im very fond of slapstick. Sylvie Testud is something like my alter ego in this film except that she is much more charming than I am.
by Chantal Akerman
with Sylvie Testud, Aurore Clément, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Natacha Regnier, Lucas Bélvaux, Elsa Zylberstein, Dominique Reymond
France / Belgium 2003