French writer/director Emmanuel Bourdieu
's intense, cerebral drama Poison Friends
dissects the internal politics (and eviscerates the pretentiousness) of French academic circles played out on a collegiate campus. Three first-year graduate literature students at the Sorbonne, Alexandre Pariente (Alexandre Steiger
), Eloi (Malik Zidi
), and Edouard (Thomas Blanchard
) fall under the spell of a more vain and self-superior fellow student, André (Thibault Vinçon). André is handsome, intelligent, suave, and an intellectual vulture, and his reputation in the eyes of coeds and faculty is soon so elevated that he wields the power to tell everyone what to do, how to think, and in which direction to carry their lives. Ultimately, the question arises of whether he is truly as perfect as he seems; then André unexpectedly takes off for America, leaving everyone in his wake. Jacques Bonnaffé
, Dominique Blanc
, and Françoise Girard co-star.