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Two young women find themselves struggling to survive in Paris, street-wise Nathalie, a stripper, and naïve Sandrine, a barmaid. Together, they discover that sex can be used to their advantage, and pleasure. Both find positions in the office of a large bank, where bored, under-stimulated, prey are easy pickings. After making their way though several layers of executives at the bank, with destructive, and lucrative, results, they approach Christophe, scion to the bank director. What they don't know is that Christophe is a manipulative voyeur, whose last two lovers set themselves on fire when he rejected them. A connoisseur of high-class orgies, Christophe is only interested in new talent to satisfy the appetites of all whom he controls. In Christophe, the girls have found an opponent who knows all their wiles, and will challenge their simple under-class friendship with levels of jealousy and ecstasy that they have never experienced before. Will they survive? Written by
Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#01, with "Ten") See more »
The end of the movie is supposed to take place after Nathalie is released from prison, several years after the main plot takes place. Yet the movies advertised on the advertisement pillar in the background (See Spot Run, Town & Country) were released in France around the same weeks as the movies referenced in the main plot's time frame (Sleepwalker etc.). See more »
A film about manipulative, mean-spirited and, at times, downright nasty people - and I absolutely loved it.
It's so refreshing to see a truly adult film these days. Not to mention, a film that doesn't just say it is erotic, it goes ahead and proves it. This is not a film for prudes, for those who are easily offended. But for adults who are willing to see some frank discussion about sex and some deliciously devious sexual politics, this film provides wonderful entertainment.
"Choses secrètes" is enormously entertaining with two thoroughly captivating leads. Sabrina Seyvecou, who turns in a spellbinding performance, has a sort of Heather Grahamish innocence and sexiness to her and, along with Coralie Revel, provides some of the most titillating scenes seen in a mainstream movie in many years.
There really aren't any good/wholesome characters in this film. But that's OK. (I suppose Cadene qualifies as a nice chap, but he's a minor character.) Because the cunning of the two women is so absolutely engrossing that you're quickly drawn into their wicked world. Watching them use people for their own ends and not quite knowing who is manipulating whom is one of the many charms of this sensual and exciting film.
The film comes apart toward the end. Unravels a bit, especially when writer/director Jean-Claude Brisseau resorts to awfully heavy-handed (and needless) symbolism. There's also a superfluous orgy scene that comes out of nowhere. I wish Brisseau would have come up with an original, atypical, less conventional denouement for his story.
If you like the works of Neil LaBute - "The Shape of Things," "Your Friends and Neighbors" and "In the Company of Men" - you should appreciate and enjoy "Choses secrètes."
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