Costa-Gavras didn't invent the political thriller, but, starting with the runaway success of Z (1969) followed by a string of masterpieces (L'Aveu, 1970; État de siège, 1972; Section spéciale, 1975), he made the genre truly his own like few others had before or ever since. The secret of Gavras' success is his ability to tell a story with guts and relish, trim and lean, like a prime piece of hard-boiled fiction. Like his chosen enemies, he doesn't get lost in subtleties or niceties.
Adults in the Room shows that at age 86 Gavras is still an incendiary figure. The hero in this Kammerspiel thriller with surprising theatrical touches is Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's newsmaking finance minster in the worst days of the financial crisis, whose willingness to slowly craft an economically sensible compromise is thwarted by his opponents, chiefly Wolfgang Schäuble, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and Christine Lagarde.