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An American doctor (Vincent Gallo) arrives in Paris seeking a cure for a tropical virus that has transformed his colleague's wife into a ravenous sexual cannibal, in Claire Denis' controversial film maudit follow-up to Beau travail.
Denis' film maudit follow-up to her worldwide success with Beau travail, Trouble Every Day premiered out of competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and scandalized audiences with its blend of eroticism and body horror. American doctor Shane (Vincent Gallo) arrives in Paris for a honeymoon with his new young bride (Tricia Vessey), but the cuddles soon turn to carnal violence as Shane sneaks off in search of his true objective: his former colleague Leo (Alex Descas), who might be in possession of the antidote to a tropical virus that has transformed Leo's wife (Béatrice Dalle) into a ravenous sexual cannibal. Although it is gradually revealed that Shane himself is in the grip of the virus' early stages, it remains pointedly ambiguous as to whether he is seeking a cure for his affliction or prey for his violently lascivious desires. Denis' delectably photographed yet shockingly violent imagery terrifies not so much by its goriness as by its correlations between intellect and instinct, ecstasy and agony, displaying the blurred and often interchangeable limits of human desire. "A recasting of the monster mythos pitched not in the key of the supernatural but integrated into a sensuous naturalism ... Realistically and uncomfortably yoking carnage inextricably to the erotic, [Denis] poetically, if queasily, takes conceptions of sexual hunger to their extreme but logical conclusion" (Kristi Mitsuda, Reverse Shot).