Shock Waves: Diary of My Mind
Ondes de choc—Journal de ma tête
Contemporary World Cinema
In this terse, gripping psychological thriller, the great Fanny Ardant plays Madame Fontanel, a French teacher doomed to ponder her complicity in murder… Benjamin (Kacey Mottet-Klein) is one of her more notable pupils; she likes her students to freely express themselves in writing, and that’s just what he does, with a confessional essay he mails off to her just before slaughtering his parents.
In the aftermath of the crime, Fontanel finds herself under scrutiny for her teaching methods, and she can’t help wondering if she ignored warning signs from the young killer—or even helped stoke his destructive impulses. Anchored by its two lead performances—Mottet-Klein is clearly an actor to watch—and by Ursula Meier’s sharp direction, this is a mystery of sorts, even though the killer’s identity is known from the outset. The questions it teases us with are perhaps unanswerable.
"[B]rilliantly performed… subtly shocking but unsensationalized."—Guy Lodge, Variety