Grieving after the death of her young son Joseph, novelist Betty Fisher enters a dark depression. Hoping to bring her out of it, her mother Margot arranges to kidnap another child, Jose, to... See full summary »
Grieving after the death of her young son Joseph, novelist Betty Fisher enters a dark depression. Hoping to bring her out of it, her mother Margot arranges to kidnap another child, Jose, to replace the son Betty lost. Although she knows it's wrong, Betty accepts Jose as her new son. Meanwhile, Jose's mother Carole is looking for her son with the help of her boyfriend Francois and some of his criminal cohorts. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
In the scene in which Alex goes to the bookshelf and pulls down a book in which some money is hidden, all the books on that shelf are by Ruth Rendell, who wrote the book this film was based on. The cover of the French version of that book, entitled 'Jeux des Mains', is prominently displayed when he pulls down the book. See more »
This quietly compelling entry from French director Claude Miller was strangely marketed to American international cinema enthusiasts as an edge of your seat thriller. Based on the plot synopsis (best-selling novelist loses son to tragic accident, then crazy mother kidnaps "replacement son" for grieving daughter, then kidnapped boy's unpredictable mother and criminal friends seek to get boy back) I thought this was going to be good, and weird. Instead it was great, and weird, but not the kind of weird I was suspecting. Despite plenty of opportunity to do so, Miller never exploits or sensationalizes any of the intertwining tales of Parisian misfits begotten to misfortune both accidental and of their own making. He takes a meditative, and at times cold, though ultimately intimate look at human relations and diverging theories on what it means to be a mother. The "thrills" emerge from the fact that you never know what these interesting characters are going to do next. Miller pulls no punches. There's no pounding music score, fancy camera tricks, or melodramatic theatrics. The performances are as nuanced and natural as the direction. This is a perfect remedy for those seeking respite from Hollywood thrillers.
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