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Plot: Set in the lower echelons of 1860s Paris, Therese Raquin, a sexually repressed beautiful young woman, is trapped into a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille, by her domineering ... Runtime: 107 mins Release Date: 03 Apr 2014
Powerful and Remarkable Tale of Murderous Love (by aharmas)
Just recently Oscar Isaac wasn't recognized for his superb work in "Llewyn Davis". Here he plays Laurent, an apparent pursuer of good times, in search of love, sex, and money. He meets a repressed and lustful young wife, trapped in a sad marriage to a man who can't give her what she wants. Add to that the pressures and conventions of an age when women can't really express their true nature and desires.Soon, this young woman is involved in a passionate and reckless love affair that will have no good results. Defying expectations, events don't quite turn out the way we <more>
are accustomed to. After a tragic "accident", we see the main characters in the story overwhelmed by guilt, greed, and grief. Isaac shines as the frustrated lover who sees his plans fall apart. Therese becomes a ghost of herself, surpassing the melancholic levels she experienced before meeting Laurent. In addition that the grieving mother must resort to desperate measures to lessen the impact of her son's death. This is where the film shines because it's a portrayal of a complex combination of devastating and dark emotions. The exquisite photography mirrors the souls of the main characters. There is very little to cheer. Life is grim, Day to day existence is a drudgery, even love making appears forced and more of an obligation. Erotic moments are overshadowed by fear of getting caught. There is little to call happy or sexy here.The opening scenes in the country introduce a level of meticulous detail to costumes and art direction, and it becomes more impressive in the depiction of Paris, a city that many see as the epitome of glamour, but in here there is darkness in both its exterior and its soul. We see the citizens of the place surrounded by women of questionable reputation, even the patrons of the shop appear almost anti-social. Homes are enveloped in darkness. It is amazing how spirits manage to survive.It's been ages since I have seen a film this beautiful, so full of masterful performances, such are the portrayals of Olsen, Isaac, and especially Lange, who can convey so much feeling with a glance, a brief exchange of words, a gesture. The last twenty minutes are a showcase of her amazing talents. 2014 saw an amazing display of histrionics, excessive budgets, and rather pedestrian dialogue pass as sophisticated comedy. The range here proves that much of the dark power of erotic forces can be portrayed by a guilty look, by yearning in a talented performer eyes. Not much flesh is exposed here, no loud soundtrack is forcing us to believe these are uncontrollable passions. It is all there in a furtive hand fighting fabric to reach its goal, or the desperate yearn of human beings who aren't happy or satisfied. Unrequited love or lust brings extreme pain, and in the end the conclusion can only be destructive.I can only hope this film finds an audience and shows us how wonderful true talent can be. I never thought noir could coexist with a period piece, that young performers could display such powerful range without resorting to overusing clever and loud wordplay. Not sure who said, maybe it was Wilder or Desmond, but it's the pictures that got smaller, not the stars. Too bad that some of the contemporary stars aren't shining the way they could. Maybe our expectations have gotten smaller, too.
Melodramatic, Dark & Ultimately Uplifting Movie for me!! (by porgiamor)
I loved the cinematography at the beginning of the movie and how it quickly changed into a dark and morose tale of human manipulation. When you cast strong actors such as Elisabeth Olsen, Jessica Lange, Oscar Isaac you have a powerful intense shocking human tale of lust, revenge and tragedy. Oscar Isaac smolders on screen and I found his chemistry with Elisabeth Olsen truly believable during their numerous clandestine rendezvous throughout the first half of this movie. Then the tension just builds up to an incredible ending with both characters totally unravelling and at the end of their <more>
tethers. Every single actor in this film was so strong, even the supporting cast: Tom Felton was incredibly unappealing as Camille. Shirley Henderson provided light and shade in her quirky portrayal of Suzanne. Impressive acting throughout. I really enjoyed this movie because it was so dark. Yet the cinematography was so clearly focused. The resolution of each shot was so sharp and appealing to the eyes. I was uplifted at the end of the movie because the type of existence these people had was a living hell. Hey, I thought, my life is not so bad after all, compared to what these miserable people went through...
This was a very nicely done film... (by juanmuscle)
I haven't read the source material by Zola but the film felt like it took the main points and really sifted through and disseminated all the vital instrumental points and weaved through its loom to create a wonderful tapestry of inter-connectivity with the hardcore psychological threads to culminate to a fine very fine ending, it was very very nice, a fine job!I highly recommend this , it was definitely a good , yet tough film, a masterly work of art for sure!
Love and sex in 19th Century Paris (by Red-125)
In Secret 2013 is a French film directed by Charlie Stratton, who also wrote the screenplay. The movie is based on a play, which, in turn, was based on Emile Zola's novel Thérèse Raquin. The film is set in 1860's Paris. Filmed in Belgrade, where the narrow shop-lined streets still exist. Elizabeth Olsen plays the title character. She is an orphan, raised by her aunt with the primary purpose of providing her cousin with a suitable wife. Her cousin Camille, played well by Tom Felton, is sickly and inadequate in many ways, including his sexual abilities. Thérèse finds herself <more>
trapped in a marriage that's not only loveless, but also sexless. She lives with her husband in the same household with her domineering mother- in-law Madame Raquin, played by Jessica Lange.Into the mix comes the handsome Lauent Oscar Isaac . The sexual attraction between Laurent and Thérèse is instant and demands consummation. That's the basic plot. Whether you enjoy the rest of the movie depends on your thoughts about what happens after Thérèse and Laurent meet.I liked this film on several levels. It looks and feels real--we know this isn't Paris, and the shop owned by Madame Raquin is a set, but they have an authentic feel to them.The actors are all seasoned professionals, and they perform extremely well. And, the plot--while not exactly original--captures your interest and attention to the end.We saw this movie at the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester. It will work better on the large screen than the small, but it will still be worth seeing on DVD. I recommend it.
Thérèse Raquin is a very familiar tale from Émile Zola 1867 and it has been adapted to the stage many times as well movies. I counted at least 15 film versions of the story and they have been made in many languages— including French, German, Swedish, Italian, Spanish and English! In fact, the James M. Cain story The Postman Always Rings Twice filmed in 1946 and 1981 is STRONGLY inspired by Zola's—so strongly that it's hard to imagine Cain having created his novel without first having read Zola's story or seen it on film. Obviously, Zola's story has touched a lot of <more>
people and has become a classic—and it's a wonderfully moving tale that is relatively timeless as the films have been set in many time periods from the mid-1800s to the present. But with so many versions out there, are we ready for yet another?Thérèse Elizabeth Olsen has led a rather pitiful life. When she was very young, she was dumped on her aunt and was raised by her. However, it was not an especially happy or loving home. Instead of being treated like a daughter or even a daughter, Thérèse has become almost like a servant. Much of her time has been spent taking care of her weak and sickly cousin, Camille Tom Felton . And, after years of doing this, the aunt, Madame Raquin Jessica Lange , insists that Thérèse marry Camille. This is certainly no great love match—more a way to guarantee that Camille will have a woman to care for him after Madame Raquin's death.After the marriage, the trio move to Paris and they open a small shop. Thérèse's days are spent tending the shop, her evenings are spent caring for Camille and during their free time, the three have friends over so that Camille and his mother can play dominoes. This is their life--very predictable, a bit dull and lacking in love. Not surprisingly, deep within Thérèse longs for something more—and it's easy to feel sorry for the young woman—especially since no one ever seems to worry about her needs.One day, Camille brings home an old friend, Laurent Oscar Isaac . How the two are friends is difficult to imagine, as they are quite different. In contrast, Laurent is an artist and is much more outgoing and handsome. Soon, he and Thérèse become lovers. As time passes, they realize that they cannot go on like this—something has to give. Plus, Camille insists that the family move back to the country. But, instead of breaking up, the pair comes upon the idea of killing Camille! However, Camille is not a bad guy. He's inept as a husband, but he's also decent and really cares about his wife—and that is what makes the lovers' plan so reprehensible. However, I should point out that all this is relatively early in the film. What follows is an interesting psychological portrait of two people whose beastly actions are, ultimately, their undoing. How does all this play out? If you want to know, see this film—and I do strongly recommend you do.In Secret manages to tell Zola's story quite well. Although there apparently were quite a few changes in the cast according to IMDb many folks dropped out or were replaced , the film comes off beautifully—not that it's a beautiful story, mind you! The acting is quite good, the mood such as the music, colors and cinematography are appropriately grim and the story has an extremely strong ending. Well worth seeing, but I must warn you that it's not what I would consider a pleasant story. Not surprisingly, I do NOT recommend this film to children! It is about adultery and murder and only the most insane parent would want their kids watching this! However, I think it's appropriate for teens and older, as it is definitely not some fluff piece glamorizing these behaviors but a well thought out story about human nature—particularly the worst aspects of it! This film is currently available on DVD as well as through Netflix. Also, an interesting note is that Jessica Lange starred in the 1980s remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice AND stars as Camille's mother in this film. She and the rest of the cast were excellent.
"My guess is you'll see us all snug in our graves . . . " (by pixrox1)
. . . Laurent Oscar Isaac, who's dropped Llewyn Davis' guitar to take up painting tells aging Madame Racquin Jessica Lange, who refrains from singing ANY Patsy Cline tunes here . Laurent is illustrating the adage about lots of truths being spoken in jest, as his reference to the three members of the next generation surrounding Madame Racquin proves to be prophetic as such heavy-handed "foreshadowing" remarks are 99% of the time in movies . Rounding out the trio of star-crossed youths are Madame's fragile son, Camille Tom Felton, having the sort of giggly childhood <more>
his actual HARRY POTTER role of "Draco Malfoy" never allowed him to portray and novelist Emile Zola's title character, who is Camille's first cousin and eventual wife, after being named his "Guardian Angel" by their mom with angels like that, who needs demons? . Therese is wonderfully brought to life by Elizabeth Olsen bare, as always, though not as much here as she normally is, this being the 1800s and all . Gabriel Yared's score swells in all the right places, and Hungary makes a fine "Paris" since this story is set in Pre-Eiffel Tower Days. While some might find IN SECRET depressing, it will prove a fine cup of prussic acid for most.
A nice little story that challenges the conventional protagonist vs. antagonist formula (by Arit)
Elizabeth Olsen's latest title role performance is not as showy as her first; when she broke out with "Martha Marcy May Marlene" in 2011, her character's heart and mind were the primary focus of the film. She used her bland looks like the Japanese Noh mask or the Greek Archaic smile, which you could interpret as an expression of any emotion you would like, thus lending mysteries and ambiguities. In "Therese" Olsen goes a lot lighter, allowing us to detach from, or even dislike the apparent protagonist if we choose so.By contrast, Therese's mother-in-law, Madame <more>
Raquin is played by Jessica Lange with a heavy emotional emphasis. Few actresses entertain the idea of playing characters with special physical conditions. Fewer can play them convincingly. Even fewer can play them without words. With Lange they all come as standard. While seemingly playing an antagonist, Lange makes a surprisingly gratifying character.Tom Felton's frail Camille is Therese's arranged husband, and Oscar Isaac's strong Laurent is Therese's extra-marital affection; these two actors are also solid as they play friends and enemies with polar opposite characteristics.While by employing a comedic tone director Charlie Stratton takes away some gravity from the serious subject, he nonetheless makes the antique material accessible by wider audience. It is a rather simple story with nothing mysterious about its plot or its characters' feelings and motives, but at the same time, so cleverly ambiguous on the moral ground that you cannot easily decide for which character to root.
Very dark and intense story, efficiently and simply told.... (by skalwani)
When I usually go to see movies which cover a past period of time, I take the trouble of not reading too much about the background or skipping the book it is based on, so that I may judge the product purely on its merits and the strengths of the entire production crew that went into it's making. It pleases me to share with you that "In Secret" ranks as one such fine effort, right from the beginning it transports you to the mid-1800s era of rural France, and tells us the story of little Therese Raquin Elizabeth Olsen . This effort has good production values, for not even a <more>
single moment does your attention drift away from the development of the characters, seeing them grow up, make the ties binding to the extent that Therese clearly suffers from the over bearing domination of her mother-in-law, played brilliantly by Jessica Lange. She gives the entire movie a continuation of the thread for the story, at times you feel her looks, demeanor and restrained but piercing performance, towards the end, are very absorbing. Hats off to the casting crew for making the right call here, she was born to play this role.I wish to thank my fellow cinema mates - Isabelle and Lisa you know who you are! - for sharing their insights with me post the viewing. Correct use of lighting does give this piece the right feel of the suffocating & dreary lower working class Paris conditions, the same dark focus and clever use of perspective subtly nudge the viewer into feeling very tense as the story of betrayal develops. The very same way the characters demons grow, speaks to the way all of them absorb the souls of the players and share them with us flawlessly. As my fellow cinema watchers also shared with me, this movie is not for everyone, and only serious lovers of subtle simple but powerful period stories will appreciate this work. I suspect they are also right in anticipating that we may see many more French literary pieces coming to life on the big screen in the next few years. I give this movie an 8 star rating, simply because I appreciated every frame contributing to the telling of the story, no wasted effort or superfluous diversions whatsoever.
A clever film adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, Therese Raquin, set in 1860s Paris. Convincing mise-en-scene, convincing acting, excellent filming, suitable pace.A clever, satisfying story containing the themes of marriage, affairs, desire, murder, suicide and justice. The plot strands draw us into the sinister world the lovers have created and provide us with a suitable denouement.The director creates a believable world in which the unbelievable happens. Although it's not easy to empathise with any of the characters, it is easy to follow their development and roles within the <more>