Marie (Anne Coesens), who works as a successful door-to-door encyclopedia salesperson, has been married to her husband Francois (Michel Bompoil) for 12 years and has a two-year-old son. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marie
Michel Bompoil ...
François
...
Bill
Quentin Rossi ...
Paul
Jacqueline Jehanneuf ...
Marie's mother
Aladin Reibel ...
Rémy
Valérie Vogt ...
Séverine
Frédéric Sauzay ...
Luc
Natalya Ermilova ...
Ana
Charlotte Pradon ...
Mélanie
Jeanne Cellard ...
Customer
Yanitz Grunhard ...
Trainer
Chantal Lambrechts ...
Marie's colleague
Christian Bobet ...
Boss
Paul Ielkin ...
Idiot boy
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Storyline

Marie (Anne Coesens), who works as a successful door-to-door encyclopedia salesperson, has been married to her husband Francois (Michel Bompoil) for 12 years and has a two-year-old son. Though she is relatively content with her life, she feels something is wanting. Enter 50-year old African-American Bill (Tony Todd of Candyman fame). Initially she is annoyed by his insouciance, but she finds that she is irresistibly attracted to him. Soon the two are in the midst of sordid illicit affair. She knows little about her new lover, and he seems uninterested in learning about her, but the long sessions of lovemaking are something else entirely. Feeling out of control, Marie is increasingly repelled by her own actions. Psychologically, she struggles to reconcile her torrid encounters with Bill and mundane domestic chores such as bathing her son. Moreover, she finds herself incapable of hiding her adulterous behavior, rather she comes home with scratches and hickeys all over her body, to the ... Written by lament

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

February 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret  »

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1.85 : 1
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Soundtracks

You Never Can Tell
by Chuck Berry
Performed by Chuck Berry
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User Reviews

Bill is something of a cypher: the figure of Temptation. Marie is given much more space to develop than any of the other characters - but Cousens' performance fills the screen. Recommended.
5 May 2002 | by (Dorset, England) – See all my reviews

Marie, trim bordering on skeletal, is married to only slightly dull François, who wants a 2nd child, (Marie doesn't but doesn't know why) (the 2 year old son comes up with some of the best acting in the film - how do they get them to do it?).

In the course of her work as an encyclopaedia sales person (echoes of Paper Moon) Marie meets Bill, a big black American who lives alone in a villa and seemingly never goes out.

She is simultaneously intrigued and put off by his large direct presence. Gradually the intrigue wins and she overtly seduces him (echoes of Belle du Jour). Mind blowing, graphic, complicated and frequent sex ensues.

It seems as though what Marie is getting from the relationship is more important to her than her husband (desolate), child (confused and weepy) or invalid mother (disapproving, though at least seems to show a flicker of understanding when Marie explains the attraction of sex with Bill being that Bill "invades" her).

The story fairly bowls along and Ann Coesens (Marie) is riveting throughout. The best acting in the course of sex I have ever seen.

The sex is not at all pornographic, actually - although pretty graphic, it serves to explore Marie's motivation rather than titillate.

Bill is something of a cypher: the figure of Temptation. Marie is given much more space to develop than any of the other characters - but Cousens' performance fills the screen.

Recommended.


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