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Starring: Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling
Director: Dominik Moll
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2006








Languages: French
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 2 hrs 9 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Entertainment




LEMMING marks the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dominik Moll's hugely successful thriller, 'Harry, He's Here to Help'. LEMMING provides another tension-filled, off-kilter riff on the interactions of two couples.

Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas), a young and brilliant engineer, and his wife Benedicte, (Charlotte Gainsbourg) move to a new city following Alain's work transfer. They invite Alain's new boss (André Dussolier) and his wife (Charlotte Rampling) to dinner one evening.

However the difference between the two couples couldn't be more extreme: on one hand the
young model couple, on the other, a pair corroded by hate and resentment.

This disastrous dinner and the discovery of a mysterious dead rodent in the kitchen sink waste
pipe marks the descent into pandemonium of their once perfect life.


Directors who mess with your mind – you either love them or hate them. These people enjoy placing red herrings all over their works, raise your expectations so high that when the payoff comes, you will be left speechless – either by the film’s ingenious setup or on the other end of the scale, its ridiculous absurdity.

Just by looking at the title of this French movie which opened the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, you’d have absolutely no idea what it is about. Some of us less knowledgeable mortals won’t even know what a lemming is.

One thing that we can all agree though, the poster featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg’s concerned expression and Charlotte Rampling’s menacing stare is one of the creepiest we have seen so far.

Gainsbourg plays Benedicte, a homely wife who has just moved into a new suburb with her engineer husband Alain (played by an earnest-looking Laurent Lucas). The couple invites Alain’s new boss and his wife (Rampling in a very eerie role) over to dinner.

After an unexpected outbreak at the dinner and the discovery of a dead lemming in the couple’s kitchen pipe, things begin to go very wrong, in the most bizarre way you can imagine.

Yes, we cannot help you too much with what exactly is going to happen in the film. You have to watch it yourself to experience how odd things become by the second third of the 129-minute movie.

Although it clocks in a total run time of over two hours, you will feel that the pace is slow and steady, simply because you want to know what is going to happen. Of course, the sturdy performance of the entire cast helps a lot to keep your eyes glued on the screen too.

Gainsbourg brings to her role certain loveliness and vulnerability which mash nicely together to pleasurable effect. Rampling, on the other hand, plays her character with a determined brutality and coldness that will send shivers down your spine. And she does not even need a lot of screen time for that.

Alain’s psychological roller coaster ride is effectively brought out by Lucas’ portrayal of a helpless man who, well, seems to be as puzzled as us.

The entire mood of the film directed by Dominik Moll is very Hitchcock-ian, with a looming air of suspense and uncertainty stringing the scenes together. Even the music score composed by David Whitaker resonates of the harsh and disturbing string and piano notes composed by Hitchcock’s long-time composer Bernard Herrmann.

At the end of the day, we still do not know how to categorize this film. A psychological thriller as this review seems to suggest? A supernatural suspense as far as the plot is concerned?

We do not have the answer to that.

One fact we can furnish you with details though: A lemming is a small rodent found near the Arctic, and is believed to be a suicidal species.

But when the end credits roll and the song “Dream a Little Dream of Me” starts playing, we hope that the film will leave a strange sense of satisfaction in you, like it did in us.


This Code 3 DVD does not even have a trailer. Tsk..



There is nothing to complain about the visual transfer. There is an option of either French Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1.



Review by John Li



Alternative Opinion:

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar


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