In “November,” neighborhood dynamics shift in disturbing ways when a disillusioned housewife wins nearly 3 million Swiss francs ($2.5 million) in the national lottery. Vividly etched characters spring to life in well cast and neatly played tragi-comedy detailing the resentments simmering beneath comfortable middle-class suburban life. First time writer-director Luki Frieden displays chilling assurance in charting a family’s downfall in the wake of a windfall. Talent scouts should take note.
Mired in a bedroom community outside Bern, Marianne Brunner (Charlotte Heinimann) doesn’t have much in common with her businessman husband, Paul (Max Rudlinger), except their 11-year-old daughter, Yvonne (Muriel Rieben). Yvonne likes hanging out with sweet but shiftless America-obsessed slacker Iceman (Martin Rapold) and dreams of having a swimming pool in the yard. When Marianne hits the jackpot, her initial glee is thwarted as, insidiously, envy gets the upper hand. One of many films in which a trip to the U.S. is seen as both consummate treat and ultimate escape, modest but affecting pic explores the moral vertigo unleashed by enormous change. Spare, clean lensing is a nice fit with tale of messy emotions and yearnings that money alone can’t quell.