Fairly early in the movie (around 18:00), Michèle (main character) drives her car to the restaurant where she's meeting others for dinner. She deliberately and repeatedly rams the back of her car into the front of Richard's (her ex) car, causing some damage.

She then enters the restaurant, greets Richard as if nothing had happened, and proceeds to have a lovely dinner (which includes casually telling her dinner companions that she had recently been raped).

Later on they come out of the restaurant and after a brief parting conversation about some business matters near their cars, she points out to Richard that "Somebody trashed your fender." Richard responds incredulously, "Somebody!?", indicating (at least to me) that he clearly knows she did it.


  1. Why did Michèle damage Richard's car?

  2. Why wasn't Richard more furious? (As one would be after someone just deliberately damaged your car.)

Obviously this movie as a whole was filled with characters with bizarre and complicated motivations (which I still do not quite understand), but I was hoping I could at least understand this little detail here.

1 Answer 1


It's because Michèle is jealous of Richard's new relationship.

Can't remember exactly but before meeting for dinner, when Richard and Michèle are talking on the phone, Richard mentioned his new relationship and also the plans for marrying her. The film is trying to convey that even though Richard is divorced like Michèle, he's able to get into new relationships but Michèle is lonely and single. When informed about Richard's relationship, she got jealous and while meeting at the dinner she purposefully damaged his car.

And he's not furious because he still likes her, remember when she mentions about the rape, Richard is concerned and he stays on the lookout near her house in his car. Also it could be that in their long marriage, he understood that Michèle is a jealous person and getting angry at her would be futile.

  • Plausible answer but unfortunately no. Michèle didn't know about the new girl (Hélène) at this early point in the movie. It was only later on (at around the 37:00 mark) that Richard mentions Hélène. Michèle seems genuinely surprised by about this new girl. This is confirmed when on the next day, she asks Vincent (her son) on the phone about Hélène (including asking him why he never mentioned her) and gets clues about where Hélène works (some Bikram Yoga place).
    – user9668
    Jun 23, 2017 at 7:51
  • Up till their meeting in the restaurant, Richard had not appeared at all in the movie (not even as a voice on the phone).
    – user9668
    Jun 23, 2017 at 7:52
  • @KennyLJ Then it's because Richard is wealthy and happy and she is not. Jun 23, 2017 at 8:25
  • 1
    @KennyLJ: It doesn't matter if Richard has appeared in the movie before that scene. What matters is that Richard and Michèle have a history (on- or off-screen is irrelevant) which causes her to resent him.
    – Flater
    Sep 21, 2017 at 14:06

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