Lonely tailor Monsieur Hire (Blanc) spends his nights obsessively spying on his lovely neighbor, Alice (Bonnaire), who soon becomes aware of his presence at her window. When a young woman turns up dead in a nearby park, Hire comes under the scrutiny of police, and his voyeuristic relationship with Alice, his only solace, takes an unexpected turn.
Leconte's noir thriller takes on a quintessential Hitchcockian theme — voyeurism — but to entirely different ends. The director is mainly interested in helping us unravel the mystery of Hire, an inscrutable character whose unsettling habit of watching leads him into the arms of Alice, who offers the hope of redemption from solitude, but may also be his undoing. Cool and understated rather than classically suspenseful, Leconte's adaptation of the Georges Simenon novel is an elliptical study of a middle-aged outsider and the psychology of loneliness.