But like any film that denies the audience an uplift at the end (and withholds Hollywood-formula signposts along the way), Caché was sneered at in the U.S. Mick LaSalle writing in my own local San Francisco paper informed prospective viewers that Haneke does "everything he can to bore the audience, and the audience tries not to fall asleep or flee the theater," making the film an "exercise in pain."
Haneke specifically observed in an interview that if his film had been made by Americans, the crisis faced by Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil (playing a sophisticated and prosperous married couple) would ultimately have provided an opportunity for their mutual growth and enlightenment. "I don't think life really works that way," said Haneke, casually dismissing the delusional optimism that dominates the world's dominant culture.
Personally, my only problem with the movie came from Juliette Binoche, who occasionally distracted me from the story because I would get lost in contemplating the fathomless gorgeousness of her face. But her screen time is rationed, and the quality of her acting generally overpowers even her own beauty.
Ultimately the tapes lead to an Algerian man living on the outskirts of Paris in public housing and the "hidden" story alluded to in the movie's title begins to unfold.
Yet the opinion that prevails in the place where I live asserts that, on the contrary, Haneke is doing "everything he can to bore the audience." Many of the Californians in my own circle of acquaintance consider Mick LaSalle a film savant, a witty guy, even a minor variety of regional celebrity. I consider him an ignorant yahoo.