in about 100 words or less
France 106m, B&W
Director: Jean Renoir; Cast: Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Marcel Dalio, Jean Renoir, Julien Carette
On the surface, The Rules of the Game appears as an unnecessarily complicated story about the tangled relationships of a group of friends and acquaintances who take to a country house for the weekend to indiscriminately shoot small animals, and to indulge their loving and lustful desires for one another. Woven throughout the film are varying opinions on the rules of the game which suggest that male female relationships are far from simple. Through the almost non-stop dialogue we learn that age, sex, status, wealth and one’s place within society dictate a ridiculous set of rules which Renoir lampoons in this modern richly layered film which relies less on plot and more on satirizing the social norms of upper middle class French society (Klaus Ming November 2013).