Watch the full film on the
Welcome to Fandor. Watch thousands of award-winning films online. ×
Click here to take a look at our newly redesigned movie page.
also known as L'enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq2014

  • 3.7
In 2011 dyspeptic French author Michel Houellebecq went off-grid for a while (it eventually turned out he'd just had internet connectivity problems), sparking widespread rumors that his "disappearance" was due to some sinister plot. Guillaume Nicloux's droll cinematic fiction casts the famed writer as himself, seen dourly going about his everyday business before a trio of toughs force their way into his apartment. They then smuggle him in a trunk, gagged and bound, to a country house where they await payment of a ransom. Treated like an indulged, occasionally bothersome guest by his "hosts" (three brothers and their elderly parents), Houellebecq accepts his predicament as a minor inconvenience rather than a mortal peril, shrugging, "Maybe I’ve lived long enough. I don’t really care." Which is not to say he doesn’t "complain a lot" (as one captor duly notes), his boredom alleviated by lessons in whistling and boxing, discussions of his craft, too much wine, even a visit from a local prostitute. This sly comedy lets its real-life protagonist be a willing part of the joke while at the same time acknowledging what his many detractors (who have been offended by his perceived expressions of misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, etc.) have long maintained: that his essential personality is something of a pain in the derriere. - Dennis Harvey

Copy embed code

×

What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

2 members like this review

I went into this not knowing who Michel Houellebecq was, and the protagonist comes off a little unlikable--what with his comments about Le Corbusier, and all. Not knowing the genre and background of the making of this film, at first, I thought it was a documentary. The realism and dialogue is really free flowing. What a pleasant surprise as this story and style unfolded, and soon enough you appreciate Michel in spite of all his nerdiness, annoying, demanding ... He does manage to befriend his captors, and the audience. The humour is so nuanced, and in a couple of scenes it's laugh out loud. An unlikely place or way to find camaraderie, and contemplate life -- but there's plenty of wine and talk, so why not.

180311.small
top reviewer
Cast & Crew
Directed By
Executive Produced By
Produced By
Cinematography
Edited By
Written By
Genres Festivals & Awards Related Articles

Member Reviews (6)

180311.small
top reviewer

I went into this not knowing who Michel Houellebecq was, and the protagonist comes off a little unlikable--what with his comments about Le Corbusier, and all. Not knowing the genre and background of the making of this film, at first, I thought it was a documentary. The realism and dialogue is really free flowing. What a pleasant surprise as this story and style unfolded, and soon enough you appreciate Michel in spite of all his nerdiness, annoying, demanding ... He does manage to befriend his captors, and the audience. The humour is so nuanced, and in a couple of scenes it's laugh out loud. An unlikely place or way to find camaraderie, and contemplate life -- but there's plenty of wine and talk, so why not.

2 members like this review
127953.small
top reviewer

What with the wine, free call girls and a complimentary Bentley as a parting gift, it's no wonder he got a "Stockholm syndrome". These guys can kidnap me anytime.

8dae6774defd1d0f91cc7dd2835ce800?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0083
top reviewer

Understated pilot for an upcoming comedy series on the French equivalent of Fox about the literary bad boy himself. Looking forward to the episode with Dieudonné and John Galliano.

Great character.

yes yes yes. Quietly paced , we watch the artist ( the real deal) watch his captors,who fall in love with

him. Ending is great and unexpected and fits. I will look up his work,( Houellebecq's) though I'm not a big fan of Lovecraft..check out his many faces .

doesn't go anywhere....I prefer to read him

81629.small
top reviewer

By all means, go read the book.