From its start, Code Unknown promises to tell "incomplete" stories of French life and more than lives up to its preface. This film is so choppily edited, poorly paced, and confusing that the stories evolve from incomplete to incomprehensible and infuriating. This isn't a movie about characters or plot, so it's moot to describe what little the film has of either. This is a film about mood- the mood of a persisting, even shocking disconnect and sadness in the world. There are plenty of moments of pristine beauty to supply such a mood. For instance, the opening tracking shot is breathless and subtly horrifying, as we watch racism and cruelty transpire with utter naturalism. This scene is the most vivid and evocative in the whole film- and holds a certain precedent that the film can never live up to, though Haneke continually gives us similarly fascinating, unconventionally disturbing images to absorb. For instance, a brilliant fight in a grocery is accentuated by characters angrily shoving food items in a shopping cart to punctuate their rage. I don't quite know what it means but it's fascinating to watch. And Haneke fully captures the luminosity of Juliette Binoche so that every time she appears onscreen, we feel connected. We wait for such scenes- and Binoche's appearance to jumpstart our pulse in between the unengaging filler- much of which doesn't make sense- logically, emotionally, or stylistically. The more I place it within the context of Michael Haneke's work (Funny Games and The Piano Teacher; the latter's depiction of bizarre psychosexuality seems positively mainstream compared to this) the more I believe the incomprehensibility is intentional. And surely, this movie deserves repeated viewings. Its initial effect, though maddening to a large degree, is undeniably intriguing.