From the fantastically irascible mind of Bertrand Blier comes what’s hands-down his single funniest film — one that explores the limits of sexuality on the knife edge of petty thievery. With its loony verbal buckshot and swirling visual sense, Menage hurls you headfirst down the rabbit hole of a brilliantly cracked Gérard Depardieu, once again playing the blazing centerpiece of Blier’s twisted universe. Here, he’s a brash burglar who monetarily and sexually insinuates himself into the broken lives of a near-homeless couple on the brink of sanity (the always-on-point Michel Blanc, and Going Places’ Miou-Miou.) Blier’s films work best when their frequently harried characters verbally spar from the deepest depths of their id — and on that level, Depardieu’s never been better than in Menage, as he sprays Blanc and Miou-Miou with a non-stop torrent of rapid-fire verbal absurdities that’s both rolling-in-the-aisles hilarious, and somewhat chilling, as he proves how easy it is to manipulate those who have nothing left to lose. With its purposefully plinky jazz-rock score by Serge Gainsbourg, Blier’s ‘80s masterpiece is essential repeat viewing.
Dir. Bertrand Blier, 1986, 35mm, 84 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Menage”!