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 ...
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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 »
[narrating as we watch Nathalie and her walk through the streets of Paris, eating and drinking at a cafe, while wearing only heels and long coats]
It felt funny being naked under our coats in the unsuspecting crowd. Funny, but really pleasant. So we kept it up. I had begun to dare. It gave me a sense of superiority over people I'd pass on the street.
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Quality French cinema: eye candy plus food for thought
You gotta love the French. They may not know how to get rid of megalomaniac dictators (Hitler, Hussein), and few people outside the borders of La Republique would invest their hard-earned cash in a French automobile. But when it comes to sex-tinged business scandals, like the ELF `whore of the republic' saga, the French make the boys at Enron seem like virginal choirboys. And, oh yes, the French do know how to make a `thinking man's' erotic movie, as `Choses Secretes' (in French, with English subtitles) proves. And their wine and cheese isn't half bad, either.
For those in the mood for a thoroughly adult (i.e. aimed at mature audiences) film, that probes the dark side of human behavior and features plenty of beautiful women behaving naughtily, `Choses Secretes' does not disappoint. In the film, two young women, one already experienced in using her body for fun and profit, find quality jobs hard to come by in present-day Paris, so they decide to try the time-honored method of sexually manipulating men in order to rise to the top (at one point in the film, one of the minor characters mentions Madonna, who is accused of having done exactly this in the music business). This requires them to put their human feelings of love, friendship, kindness, loyalty, and decency on hold, which ends up being a huge struggle for them. However, one person in the film, the CEO of the company they go to work for, who is due to inherit the firm from his aging father, apparently has mastered the emotional distance required to be a truly manipulative, evil powermonger (`Choses Secretes' was filmed in 2002, and the revelations that came out in 2003 about Saddam Hussein's sons are chillingly close to this character). So, `Choses Secretes' does have a significant story to tell.
The film is well cast, and the three leads all give strong performances. From the moment we meet the two female leads, it is obvious from the looks in their faces that one of them is the more experienced, who will slowly lead the other into debauchery. The scenes by which the two women learn to use and enjoy their bodies are amusing, as are the portrayals of life in a Parisian office. The final third of the movie, however, is appropriately dark and sinister, and there is a sub-theme of incest that may bother some viewers (I had to remind myself that, after all, it is only a movie). Prudes, however, will have exited the theatre long before this sub-theme is reached. But those in the mood for an adult French cinematic experience containing both eye candy and food for thought won't be disappointed.
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