Hanging Offense (2003)
"Cette femme-là" (original title)

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Reviews: 8 user | 7 critic

A fifty-year-old police officer, Michèle Varin, finds herself in a highly depressive state due to the death of her young son a few years ago. In one way or another she feels guilty for his ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvain Bazinsky
Ange Rodot ...
Léo Kopmans
L'homme de l'identité judiciaire
Didier Abot ...
Homme bus
Dominique Bettenfeld ...
Dalton 2
Pascal Bongard ...
Stéphane Comby ...
Policier sandwich
Béatrice Chauvin ...
Femme buste (as Béatrice Chauvin-Ballay)
Corinne Debonnière ...
Florence Denou ...
Policière gantée
Pascal Demolon ...
Dalton 1
Scali Delpeyrat ...
Médecin légiste


A fifty-year-old police officer, Michèle Varin, finds herself in a highly depressive state due to the death of her young son a few years ago. In one way or another she feels guilty for his death and feels particularly bad every four years during the period of time around 29th February, the anniversary date of the boy's demise. Such is her unenviable condition when she is assigned a trying ordeal (at least for her):investigating the case of a woman found hanging from a tree in a forest. Horror follows her trail, but to what extent is this reality or one of those nightmares she has and her shrink has been unable to rid her of? Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 October 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hanging Offense  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation en France #105152. See more »


Follows A Private Affair (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

A viewing offense
23 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a really terrible film, with one redeeming feature: it has fascinating cinematography by Pierre-William Glenn. I have been trying to figure out 'how he did it'. For some years it has been a tiresome cliché that gloomy crime thrillers must be shot through a blue filter, and the Danes have certainly overdone that! Sometimes I think if I see any more blue-tinted scenes I shall scream. In this film, something bizarre was done by the cinematographer. Warm colours such as reds and browns glow supernaturally with an eerie radiance, while light is generally suppressed. I would like to take Monsieur Glenn aside, hold his hand, and say to him: 'Please tell me how you feel. And while you are at it, tell me what your secret is. I mean your cinematographic secret, not all those others.' But having praised the magnificent cinematography, I must now hasten to condemn the film itself. It is gloomy, despondent, depressing, and a total 'downer' from first to last. It meanders around in a depressive staggering fashion, it has contrived card inserts of the date and time of the day which are absolutely not needed, and it is a work of vanity and arrogance in my opinion. Why did the talented Josiane Balasko agree to do this? Obviously it was a meaty role for her, and she was nominated for a César (French Oscar) which may have been because everybody loves her, but as for this particular performance, although she did it very well indeed, it was a non-role in many respects and hardly worthy of her. Her character Michèle Varin reappears, once again played by her, in a subsequent collaboration between her and this director, Guillaume Nicloux, THE KEY (LA CLEF, 2007), which is rather better than this one. But surely they could both find something a bit more cheerful to be doing in their spare time than depressing everyone so very much. It is Nicloux who writes these things, and perhaps someone needs to put him on Prozac. This film has some really harrowing and revolting nightmare dream sequences, such as Balasko dreaming that she is being buried alive. They should have buried this film instead.

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