Monsieur Hire (1989)

This superbly executed psychological thriller is directed by Patrice Leconte  and starring the great actor Michel Blanc in the title role and Sandrine Bonnaire as the object of his gaze and obsession.

Based on Belgian-born French writer Georges Simenon’s ‘s novel, “ Les Fiancailles de Monsieur Hire,” the tale centers on a voyeuristic tailor named Monsieur Hire (Blanc), who spends his time spying on his young and beautiful neighbor Alice (Bonnaire), who lives across the street.

Meanwhile, Monsieur Hire is hounded mercilessly by a detective investigating the murder of another girl. 

Alice becomes aware that she is Hire’s object of his gaze, and he proposes that she get rid of her boyfriend Emile, and elope with him to his house in Switzerland.

Directed with an assured hand, Leconte imbues his creepy tale with admirable tension and sustained suspense from the first frame to the last.  Without judging his characters, he offers deep psychological insights into the behavior of an isolated, alienated middle-aged man, who is driven by voyeurism and is as much a victim of his deviance as of the conformist middle-class mores that defined his milieu.

Running time: 81 Minutes