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The Color of Lies (1999)

Au coeur du mensonge (original title)
In a small Breton town, a 10-year-old girl is found murdered. René, her art teacher, a professional painter, is the last person to have seen her alive. The inspector in charge of the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vivianne Sterne
...
René Sterne
Antoine de Caunes ...
Germain-Roland Desmot (as Antoine De Caunes)
...
Frédérique Lesage
Bernard Verley ...
Inspecteur Loudun
Bulle Ogier ...
Évelyne Bordier
Pierre Martot ...
Regis Marchal
Noël Simsolo ...
Monsieur Bordier
Rodolphe Pauly ...
Victor
Adrienne Pauly ...
Anna
Véronique Volta ...
Betty
Sylvie Flepp ...
Madame Lemoine
Florent Gibassier ...
Joël Sarne
...
Le médecin légiste
Wendy Malpeli ...
Eloïse Michel
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Storyline

In a small Breton town, a 10-year-old girl is found murdered. René, her art teacher, a professional painter, is the last person to have seen her alive. The inspector in charge of the investigation immediately questions him. In this small provincial town where people all know each other and regularly meet at the Bar des Amis, René is increasingly unsettled by the other inhabitants' suspicions and by the inspector's investigation. Children stop coming to him for lessons. His wife, Viviane, a district nurse, protects him and supports him with her love. However, a self-centred media-star writer adds to René's confusion... Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

13 January 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Color of Lies  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"You never really know who you live with."
4 February 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Common wisdom has it that Claude Chabrol's been trading water since the superb La Ceremonie, and decidedly minor efforts like La Fleur du Mal, Rien ne va Plus and Merci Pour le Chocolat certainly do little to change that view, but the surprisingly excellent Au Coeur du Mensonge aka The Heart of the Lie/The Color of Lies is easily one of his very best.

As usual he's not interested in the thriller mechanics of the film's murder mystery, preferring to focus on the effects on the marriage of the small-town art teacher who becomes the favourite suspect for locals and police alike. At once a subtle play on the nature of lies, floating the notion that when everybody's lying there are no more lies, and another of his portraits of small town petit bourgeois suspicion ("You never really know who you live with."), it benefits from superb performances from a surprisingly likable Sandrine Bonnaire and a convincingly tortured Jacques Gamblin as the couple in the eye of the quiet storm, as well as good supporting turns from Antoine de Caunes as a smug overachieving author and local celebrity and Bernard Verley as an easygoing but quietly perceptive local cop that are more than good enough to make you overlook a horribly flat performance by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi as the detective in charge of the case. She's one of the only two real bum notes in the film. The other? Well, just for once couldn't Chabrol hire someone other than his son to write the score? Matthieu Chabrol turns out another of his identikit numbers - start off classical piano, add a bit of dissonance, then a bit of pseudo-comic artful jauntiness before collapsing back into classical piano mode - that adds nothing but tedious familiarity to the proceedings. But this is still more than good enough to overcome those obstacles.

Kino's Region 1 DVD is an acceptable standards conversion from Pal that could be better, but it does at least feature the trailer, a subtitled introduction and 25-minute making of.


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