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Anne runs for re-election to the town council, shepherded by Matthieu, her fellow candidate and campaign manager. Her husband, Gérard, a businessman and philanderer, hates the campaign and feels vindication when a nasty leaflet circulates about their family history. His son, François, just back from the U.S., is in love with his step-sister Michèle, and she with him, although something is amiss besides their being cousins. Watching it all is their elderly Aunt Line, who has her own haunting memories. A death in World War II and a death on election night collapse time in the perpetual present and bring unexpected expiation. There's a lot to celebrate. Written by
After four years in USA, François Vasseur (Benoît Magimel) returns to France and his father Gérard Vasseur (Bernard Le Coq) welcomes him at the airport and brings François home. François meet with stepmother Anne Charpin-Vasseur (Nathalie Baye), his stepsister Michèle Charpin-Vasseur (Mélanie Doutey) and his Aunt Line (Suzanne Flon) that has prepared a lamprey for lunch.
The family has secrets: François and Michèle are in love with each other; Aunt Line is haunted by her past; and the womanizer Gérard, who has a laboratory and a pharmacy, hates that Anne is running for the election for Mayor.
When a leaflet exposes the despicable scandal of their family, Anne is afraid of how this will affect her electorate while Michèle and François believe that Gérard has written and distributed the pamphlet. After the election there is an unexpected death that will certainly affect the Charpin-Vasseur family.
"La Fleur du Mal", a.k.a. "The Flower of Evil", is a dark family drama about a family with many secrets, including an incestuous relationship and collaboration with the Nazis and a murder in World War II. The story is slowly developed with open conclusion, with another great direction of Claude Chabrol and magnificent performances, highlighting Suzanne Flon in the role of a very clever old woman. My vote is seven.
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