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Things are dull in this seaside resort town in northern France. So, it's no wonder that the citizens of the town busy themselves with unsavory activities. Bulle Ogier is a gambler about to lose it all. Patrick Lizana is rich but has a barren marriage, and his mom is coming to live with him. So, he has got an eye on beautiful Hélène Fillières, who works at his factory sorting pebbles (now there's a metaphor for boredom!) and is unhappy in her relationship with Ogier's son.
Naturally, everyone's interconnected here. First-time French writer-director Julie Lopes-Curval has a wonderful eye for telling detail. She has also got a fixation for American realist painter Edward Hopper and fills the screen with similarly forlorn imagery. But stifled passion isn't necessarily engaging, and by focusing on too many characters, it's tough to care about all of these drifting souls. So, while the view is nice, most will want to do their people-watching elsewhere.