This modest French film (with English captions) is absolutely unique. It is unpredictable and unsettling because we go to unusually dark places of the psyche with very little warning.

A man, his wife and their three children live in a reasonably nice house that sits right beside a new four-lane highway. The highway has been in existence for over ten years, but never opened.

The father has a job to which he commutes (his station wagon is parked directly across the four lanes), while the two younger children cross the freeway, then walk a short distance to a country lane where a school bus picks them up. The older girl seems to saunter languorously between the bathtub and a lawn chair where she smokes and sunbathes...endlessly... The mother is perpetually busy: she has a vegetable garden, cooks, freezes, cleans, does laundry, irons and otherwise cares for her happy brood with cheerful efficiency. The paved surface is used for sports, bicycle riding, skate boarding, etc., etc., etc....

One day, highway department vehicles come to resurface the road. A few days later, the first car comes zipping through. We watch traffic build until it becomes risky to cross those constantly streaming four lanes. The incessant noise in the house begins to wear on the nerves. We see what first seem to be minor personality shifts, but our story lies in the deeply felt impact this lifestyle change makes on each member of the family.

Isabelle Huppert ("I Heart Huckabees") is a well-known French actress who plays the mother; hers is the only familiar face. Mlle. Huppert, along with the four other cast members, have a ring of authenticity that makes us almost believe we are seeing a documentary, rather than a scripted movie. The performances are excellent and the movie is involving... almost too much so!