The narration, written with a cool, acerbic humor, quickly cements our negative impression of the household, filling us in on the tensions below the surface. Albert is a sociologist and “respected essayist.” Bettina is an amateur filmmaker. They have “never voted for a conservative candidate.” But they’re also vain, smug and selfish. They drink too much wine; Albert gulps pills in the bathroom. Both are frantically pursuing extramarital affairs. They scarcely notice their young daughter (who’s actually, appropriately, invisible, her dialogue supplied by a narrator).