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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Un Secret (A Secret)


Very good movie with a very intense passion story told in an spectacular and flawless non-linear way that travels back and forward from the 1930’s up to the 1980’s and tells the story of a family and a secret they kept buried for many decades until someone decides to tell it.

Based on real life events which were written as a novel by one very real family member, Philippe Grimbert, this Claude Miller film seems to be faithful to Gimbert book (took very few artistic licenses) and creates an extremely tense and passionate film once the secret starts to reveal itself.

But before the secret starts to unveil, the story shows a 1950’s family with a very athletic father Maxime (Patrick Bruel) who does gymnastics and a very strong and sports oriented mother Tania (Cécile De France) that does swimming, both with a kid, François, that is the absolute opposite of them and to compensate likes to use his imagination a lot, including the creation of an imaginary strong and sports oriented brother.

Even if I feel like, I cannot tell you the complete story, as I will spoil the movie for you; but from the very beginning up to the end the story will grab your attention and your eyes will be glued to the screen.

One of the most outstanding things is that in the 1980’s (which is the present in the movie) the film goes black and white, like if the color full past was better than the present and in the final scene -set in the present- everything goes back to full color to (according to me) state that the secret finally was released and the pain and guilt vanished. Spectacular!

The story is very good as I have been saying, but what makes it extremely good is the way Miller decided to tell it, this is another (the other is Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) extremely good editing work that without the flashbacks and the time “playing” the story could have become very melodramatic and common. So I say, chapeau to Miller and to Veronique Lange that is the editor as this movie is the most flawless mosaic of brief scenes that I have ever seen. Brilliant!

Cinematography is very good with beautiful scenes of the French country and special mention to Jaqueline Bouchard for her costume designing as you will be able to see very nice costumes especially those wore by Cécile De France.

Patrick Bruel and particularly Cécile De France performances are more than excellent, they are superb; especially after they met in the past as everything that happens between them is erotically vivid and is done only with the eyes! That was very intense. Also here we find Mathieu Amalric, Ludvine Sagnier and Julie Depardieu in supporting roles.

The movie was nominated for the 2008 César for Best Film and totally deserves the nomination along with the other exceptionally good movies! 2007 was an excellent year for French cinema as even when I haven’t seen La Graine et le Mulet (but I know is good) I’m sure that all five César nominated movies are extremely good. The movie has 11 more nominations and won the Prix of the Americas at the 2007 Montreal Fest sharing it with Belgian Ben X.

I strongly recommend this movie to those that like French cinema and a story told by little pieces that totally play with time.

Big Enjoy!!!

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