Human Resources (film)

Human Resources (French: Ressources humaines) is a 1999 French-British film directed by Laurent Cantet.[2] As the title implies, the subject of the film is the workplace and the personal difficulties that result from conflicts among management and labour, corporations and individuals. It stars Jalil Lespert. Most of the other actors are non-professionals. It won the César Award for Best First Feature Film and the César Award for Most Promising Actor at the 26th César Awards.

Ressources humaines
Film poster
Directed byLaurent Cantet
Produced byCaroline Benjo
Carole Scotta
Written byLaurent Cantet
Gilles Marchand
StarringJalil Lespert
CinematographyMatthieu Poirot-Delpech
Edited byRobin Campillo
Stephanie Leger
Distributed byHaut et Court (France)
Release date
Running time
100 minutes
United Kingdom
Budget€ 1.1 million[1]


Set in Gaillon, Normandy, the movie tells the story of "good son" Franck (Jalil Lespert), who returns to his hometown to do a trainee managerial internship in the Human Resources department of the factory where his anxious, taciturn father has worked on the shopfloor for 30 years. At first Franck is lauded by both friends and family for breaking through the glass ceiling and becoming "white-collar". But very soon hidden envy and rivalries erupt. Franck forms a friendship with Alain, a young worker whom his father has mentored. This mentoring in the blue-collar workforce is contrasted with the cagier, trust-less mentoring Franck receives in the white-collar world from his own supervisor, Chambon.

Franck discovers that his boss is going to use Franck's field study on the proposed 35-hour workweek to justify downsizing - and that Franck's father is among those to be let go. This leads to a confrontation between the trainee and management, between the workers and the owners, and ultimately between son and father. In the emotional climax, Franck confronts his father and accuses him of imbuing him with a legacy of shame at being blue-collar.


  • Jalil Lespert as Franck
  • Jean-Claude Vallod as Father
  • Chantal Barré as Mother
  • Véronique de Pandelaère as Sylvie
  • Michel Begnez as Olivier
  • Lucien Longueville as The Boss
  • Danielle Mélador as Madame Arnoux
  • Pascal Sémard as Human Resources Director
  • Didier Emile-Woldemard as Alain
  • Françoise Boutigny as Betty
  • Félix Cantet as Félix
  • Marie Cantet as Marie
  • Stéphane Tauvel as Christian
  • Stéphanie Chevret as The Secretary

Critical response

Human Resources received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 97%, based on 31 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10.[3] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 78 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4]


  1. "Ressources humaines". JP's Box-Office.
  2. STEPHEN HOLDEN (5 April 2000). "MOVIE REVIEW: Human Resources (1999) (FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS; A White-Collar Innocent in Blue-Collar Territory)". The New York Times.
  3. "Human Resources (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  4. "Human Resources". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
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