I start with what bothers me most: it is maybe a bit too long and a bit too slow at times. Having said this, I think that director Gilles Bourdos did a very good adaptation of Ruth Rendell's crime novel, "A sight for sore eyes". Now, this is not a typical crime story/thriller, and I can understand that the plot could be confusing during the first 30 minutes to some people. But if you don't give up, you'll be rewarded. The plot, set in Southern France, is as follows: the central character, Elise (played by charming Julie Ordon), witnessed as a child her mother being shot dead by a man in her house. Her father has married afterwards Anne (Brigitte Catillon), a psychotherapist whose excessive zeal was transferred to Elise, a disturbed child in her eyes, who needs to be protected from the outside world. Enters Bruno Keller (played by chilling Grégoire Colin), a young student in modern art who grew up in an emotionally cold household, raised by an uncle who doesn't care much about him. The truth is that Bruno is a murderer who got rid of this uncle... and is to commit murder again before much more time has passed. Bruno and Elise find eventually each other, Bruno being gradually obsessed with Elise's beauty, Elise seeing Bruno as a sort of knight in shining armor, someone to rescue her from the clutches of her over-protective stepmother. Such a combination of traumatized and/or obsessive characters can only lead to disaster... Bourdos has favored a cold approach of the characters. We are never guided into one character's world, we only see things happening and their consequences. The result is a very chilling, unemotional movie, though artistically filmed. The acting is good, especially Brigitte Catillon who delivers an incredible performance as the suffocating alcoholic stepmother (you just want her to die). The cinematography is above average, and composer Alexandre Desplat has written a fine score. All this contributes to make a very unusual thriller, where psychology and atmosphere matter most. The best thing about it is that you never know how the story will eventually end (unless you've read the original novel).
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