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

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 486 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 8 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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Title: Hanging Offense (2003)

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Cast

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

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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15 October 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hanging Offense  »

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2.35 : 1
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Visa d'exploitation en France #105152. See more »

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Follows A Private Affair (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Balasko's Hour
16 May 2006 | by (Montréal) – See all my reviews

The body of a young woman is found in the woods. It looks like a suicide, but Detective Michèle Varin thinks otherwise. Meanwhile, robbers terrorize the countryside... While the case is progressing , Varin soon finds herself dealing with demons of her own. Once again.

During the course of the seventies (and early eighties), France produced very interesting polars and noirs (Simenon was a big winner at this). I couldn't help but think of that period while watching "Cette femme-là". Although the setting is contemporary (somewhere in semi-rural France), the story would have fit perfectly in the above mentioned period... but it would have been a huge lost for moviegoers, since this one stars the uniquely gifted Josiane Balasko.

Ms Balasko is usually known as a comic, farcical actress. She's behind the very successful "Gazon maudit", as writer-director-star. But here is an altogether different actress, one of dept and substance. Her work in this picture, as a low-profile yet effective police-detective, is all nuances and carefully modulated expressions. Like Charlotte Rampling's character in "Sous le sable", Balasko's is one of interiority. Literally. She has build for herself an almost alternate life, an inner life, and much of the movie takes place there. That choice of narration makes for a complex storytelling, a storytelling that choose to have the murder-mystery part taking the backseat while the ambiguity of the reality vs phantasm is played full blast.

It takes quite a load of talent to pull off such a stunt, and director Guillaume Nicloux acquits himself quite nicely with a richly textured approach. But the real stand-out here is Balasko who, while speaking very few words, delivers a powerhouse performance. In less talented hands, this character could have been downright repellent, but here, one actually feels for that somewhat embittered woman. Somber, but ô so rewarding.


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