Set in the lower echelons of 1860s Paris, Therese Raquin, a sexually repressed beautiful young woman, is trapped into a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille, by her domineering ...
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Set in the lower echelons of 1860s Paris, Therese Raquin, a sexually repressed beautiful young woman, is trapped into a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille, by her domineering aunt, Madame Raquin. Therese spends her days confined behind the counter of a small shop and her evenings watching Madame play dominoes with an eclectic group. After she meets her husband's alluring friend, Laurent, she embarks on an illicit affair that leads to tragic consequences. Written by
In Secret (2013) is a French film directed by Charlie Stratton, who also wrote the screenplay. The movie is based on a play, which, in turn, was based on Emile Zola's novel Thérèse Raquin.
The film is set in 1860's Paris. (Filmed in Belgrade, where the narrow shop-lined streets still exist.) Elizabeth Olsen plays the title character. She is an orphan, raised by her aunt with the primary purpose of providing her cousin with a suitable wife. Her cousin Camille, played well by Tom Felton, is sickly and inadequate in many ways, including his sexual abilities. Thérèse finds herself trapped in a marriage that's not only loveless, but also sexless. She lives with her husband in the same household with her domineering mother- in-law Madame Raquin, played by Jessica Lange.
Into the mix comes the handsome Lauent (Oscar Isaac). The sexual attraction between Laurent and Thérèse is instant and demands consummation. That's the basic plot. Whether you enjoy the rest of the movie depends on your thoughts about what happens after Thérèse and Laurent meet.
I liked this film on several levels. It looks and feels real--we know this isn't Paris, and the shop owned by Madame Raquin is a set, but they have an authentic feel to them.
The actors are all seasoned professionals, and they perform extremely well. And, the plot--while not exactly original--captures your interest and attention to the end.
We saw this movie at the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester. It will work better on the large screen than the small, but it will still be worth seeing on DVD. I recommend it.
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