Film Shows Accountants in New Light

I spent a couple of hours at the movie theatre last night, thoroughly enjoying a new French film, The Closet (in French, Le Placard), the story of a boring accountant who leads a dreary life until an office rumor changes everything.

Pignon, the accountant, charmingly portrayed by French film star Daniel Auteuil, is about to lose his job because he is seen as boring and a drag, and he is perceived to be not particularly competent. His ex-wife is only interested in him for the alimony he pays, and his teen-aged son won't have anything to do with his dull father.

A neighbor overhears Pignon contemplating suicide and, upon hearing the poor man's sorry tale, offers a clever suggestion: Arrange for a rumor to circulate in the office that Pignon is homosexual. The management will never fire him for fear of a sexual discrimination lawsuit.

In desperation, Pignon agrees to the plan, and the fun begins. Suddenly everyone at the office is whispering about Pignon's secret life, and the drab accountant is viewed as a colorful character who is simply hiding his party personality behind his gray suits. The attitudes toward the man quickly change, and even the son is impressed with his father's apparent new style.

Although the premise of the film is a bit fanciful, the story is engaging and the dialog is quick and witty.

Filmgoers will recognize co-star Gerard Depardieu, whose appearances on the American screen have included Green Card, 102 Dalmatians, and Cyrano de Bergerac (for which he won a Best Actor Academy Award).

This film will not go down in history as a classic, but the time passes quickly and very enjoyably, and having to read subtitles on this French-language film is not a deterrent. The film is rated R for one rather mild sexual scene.

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