Married to Henri, a famous conductor, and mother of a six-year-old boy, Hélène, director of the French library in Vienna, lives in the city and frequents the small circle of French expats working in the Austrian capital. Elegant dinner parties, a domestic staff, the best schools, beauty treatments, and gossip sessions with her friends are all par for the course. But Hélène thinks her husband is cheating on her, and her suspicions get more and more out of hand. Deeply hurt and determined to get revenge, she still wants to keep up appearances and save her marriage; yet her double-dealing will backfire on her.
“Obviously, Freud has a lot to do with this story. There’s something rotten in Vienna, and whatever it is fits the title of the film like a glove. It’s a city that is apparently bourgeois to the hilt, yet hides its squalor, and often in hateful ways. Behind the façade lie perversion and cruelty, just like in the films by Chabrol or Haneke. Vienna proved to be a fitting backdrop for this sizeable French bourgeoisie that lives, nowadays, more abroad than at home.” [Marc Fitoussi]