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 »
Beauvoir, lonely, aging private detective, is put on the bloody track of beautiful Catherine Leiris who kills and robs her rich husband(s) on their wedding night. Although he never ... See full summary »
Jean, his loving wife and son live a simple, happy life. At his son's homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon's request, he volunteers as substitute teacher and starts to fall for her ... See full summary »
Lucien Paumelle has been a human rights activist for decades and his relatives are not astonished when he announces that he is determined to help illegal immigrants by giving them shelter ... See full summary »
Anne Le Ny
In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young accompanist named Sophie Vasseur gets a job with famed singer Irene Brice. As Irene's husband Charles, a businessman collaborating with the Nazis, wrestles ... See full summary »
Cecile and Julien begin their new life together. Julien works long hours in a video library, a world full of pictures. Coming home late one night, he encounters a young, beautiful, ... See full summary »
Sandrine, a woman in her thirties gets tired of life in Paris and decides to leave her work in computers and become a farmer. She takes the required practice for two years, and after that ... See full summary »
Three French sisters have their lives interrupted and their relationship called into question when their father returns to visit 15 years after having abandoned them and their now-deceased ... See full summary »
David is an accountant. He leaves town every Friday, pretending he is going to take care of his parents at their old people's home. But actually his parents are dead, and he spends the ... See full summary »
After he learns that a heart attack may be imminent, Pierre Francois, an old psychiatrist, becomes physically attracted to Odile, a sensuous young woman. Odile later uses their relationship... 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 »
I can now understand why authors feel leery about letting screenwriters adapt a novel. First of all, a full length novel doesn't translate well to the screen. There are too many nuances and too many details, that trying to do them all, will humble the most talented scribe.
Take the case of the novel in which this film is based. The Tree of Hands by the magnificent British master of suspense, Ruth Rendell. The adaptation has nothing to do with the brilliant narrative she gave us with this novel. If anyone wants to see the best adaptation of a Rendell book, I would recommend to see Claude Chabrol's, "La Ceremonie".
Not only was that a superior film, but it reveals the essence of the book with little effort.
The problem with "Alias Betty" is Mr Miller's scenario. He has changed the basic premise of the book into something else. Now, don't get me wrong, it is a better film than some of the mediocrity coming from France lately.
The big problem is with the character of the mother. Nicole Garcia is out of her range here. Not only that, one never understands what's wrong with her, even though she appears to be schizophrenic. She's a loose cannon up to no good. In the novel she's even more so.
Betty is ambiguously played by Sandrine Kiberlain, which in a way, suits the character better. She is the only sane person around, even though she is unable to control the mother.
The minor side plots add to the story, but everything at the end is resolved so easily that one wonders if anything like that is possible in life. The films end in an upbeat note, even though it has nothing to do with the original novel.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?