When beautiful kitchen maid Augustine (French recording artist Soko) suffers an inexplicable, violent seizure, she is sent to a psychiatric hospital specializing in the treatment of feminine "hysteria" and presided over by Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (a founding father of modern neurology and a mentor to Sigmund Freud). Fascinated by his new patient, Charcot (Vincent Lindon) quickly makes Augustine the star attraction in a series of hysteria presentations, hypnotizing her to induce spectacular fits for crowded lecture halls. As the full nature of Augustine's affliction begins to emerge, the relationship between doctor and patient becomes more complicated and personal power dynamics start to shift. Based on a true story from late 19th century Paris, Augustine is a lush, darkly sensuous tale of romance, psychology, and sexual politics.
"What would you say if I shaved my moustache off?" Marc asks Agnès. "I don't know. I love you with it but I've never known you without it." She goes out for a while, leaving him in front of the bathroom mirror. And he does it. Just like that. As a game. Just to see the look on her face. Just to change something in their happy uneventful lives. When she comes back, she does not say anything.
Vincent Lindon gives his finest performance to date as unemployed everyman Thierry, who must submit to a series of quietly humiliating ordeals in his search for work. Futile retraining courses that lead to dead ends, interviews via Skype, an interview-coaching workshop critique of his self-presentation by fellow jobseekers; all are mechanisms that seek to break him down and strip him of identity and self-respect in the name of reengineering of a workforce fit for an neoliberal technocratic system. Nothing if not determinist, Stephane Brize film dispassionately monitors the progress of its stoic protagonist until at last he lands a job on the front line in the surveillance and control of his fellow man and finally faces one too many moral dilemmas. A powerful and deeply troubling vision of the realities of our new economic order.