10 user 22 critic

In the Beginning (2009)

À l'origine (original title)
France, present day. A professional conman passes himself off as the boss of a construction site building a highway extension. He cons the whole region, hires dozens of workers and ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (collaborating writer) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Alain Moreau sings for one of the few remaining dance-bands in Clermont-Ferrand. Though something of an idol amongst his female audience he has a melancholic awareness of the slow ... See full summary »

Director: Xavier Giannoli
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Cécile De France, Mathieu Amalric
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Saphia Azzeddine
Stars: François Cluzet, Jérémie Duvall, Nanou Garcia
Eager Bodies (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Paul and Charlotte are in love. Charlotte discovers she has a grave malady and Paul supports her. But Paul is also attracted to Ninon, another girl. Charlotte accepts Paul to have an affair... See full summary »

Director: Xavier Giannoli
Stars: Laura Smet, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Marie Denarnaud
Rivals (2008)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of two rival brothers, one a pimp and the other a cop, and how the former manages to be the family favorite.

Director: Jacques Maillot
Stars: Guillaume Canet, François Cluzet, Clotilde Hesme
White Snow I (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A high-end car dealership owner is forced to deal with the Finnish mafia over unsatisfactory cars his dead partner sold them.

Director: Christophe Blanc
Stars: François Cluzet, Olivier Gourmet, Jonathan Zaccaï
Superstar (2012)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An average guy who works in a recycling plant wakes up one morning to discover that he's become inexplicably famous.

Director: Xavier Giannoli
Stars: Kad Merad, Cécile De France, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
True Enough (2007)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Sam Karmann
Stars: Karin Viard, André Dussollier, François Cluzet
Une aventure (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Cecile and Julien begin their new life together. Julien works long hours in a video library, a world full of pictures. Coming home late one night, he encounters a young, beautiful, ... See full summary »

Director: Xavier Giannoli
Stars: Ludivine Sagnier, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Bruno Todeschini
Zurich (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After her partner dies, Nina discovers that he led a double life.

Director: Sacha Polak
Stars: Barry Atsma, Martijn Lakemeier, Tristan Göbel
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart.

Director: Guillaume Canet
Stars: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ulrik is reluctantly let out of prison after serving 12 years for murder. He has to cope with his gang, his ex, a few women - and a snitch. His son has a fiancé. Her family doesn't approve ... See full summary »

Director: Hans Petter Moland
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg, Jorunn Kjellsby
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Philippe Godeau
Stars: François Cluzet, Mélanie Thierry, Michel Vuillermoz


Cast overview, first billed only:
Philippe Miller / Paul
Brice Fournier ...
Franck Andrieux ...
Stéphan Wojtowicz ...
Patrick Descamps ...
Stéphane Jobert ...
Eric Herson-Macarel ...
Patrick Bonnel ...
Cadre CGI
François Loriquet ...
Cadre CGI
Nathalie Boutefeu ...
Corinne Masiero ...


France, present day. A professional conman passes himself off as the boss of a construction site building a highway extension. He cons the whole region, hires dozens of workers and cynically enjoys the profits of his scam until he meets the lady mayor of a small village that the road will go through. She intrigues and unsettles him, before revealing to him a world he never knew: feelings. How far will he go now to save his victims and save himself from his own lies? Written by The Film Catalogue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 November 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Crónica de una mentira  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on a true story. See more »


While Philippe Miller runs across the construction area after the siren goes off, he falls on the ground and gets his right sleeve covered in mud. In the next shot when he has resumed running, the sleeve is clean again. See more »


Trans Air
Written and performed by Lucille Tepperman and Fabrice Viel
Produced by Bonne Pioche Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A crook brings hope...
5 April 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Paul is a small-time crook, ripping off construction businesses by usurping identities and reselling equipment he acquires. His travels bring him to a small town where his false identity (Philippe Miller) brings hope that a stalled highway construction project will finally get underway and let the inhabitants get out of the financial crisis they are in.

Town folks and local companies are all too eager to trust this stranger who inadvertently brings hope and when they begin to talk numbers and even bribe him, Paul decides to seize this golden opportunity. At first, he is awkward in his Philippe Miller persona but quickly gains assurance.

This part of the story plays much like a false identity con, not unlike Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. But lately, French cinema has excelled in portraying work, economic and social issues and this film is no exception. The more "Philippe" stays in town, the more he gets to know the people in this town, their hopes, dreams and their problems.

And so, the line begins to blur between Paul and Philippe, especially as the project itself takes life. Of course, suspicion arises every so often about whether "Philippe" is really who he pretends to be but are always rapidly squashed, because "at least, things are happening".

What is fascinating is to see almost the whole town, in a certain way, complicit with Paul's scam-turning-into-good-deed. Even Paul himself forgets about the easy money and becomes obsessed with finishing the highway project. We as viewers can't help but wonder if the townsfolk couldn't have made it happen by themselves had they had common will to do so.

The movie becomes less and less about a heist and more and more about project management by a man way over his head. The direction by Xavier Giannoli is tight, evocative and right on target. The amazing score by the underrated Cliff Martinez is perfect and beautiful, immersing us in this story that is part drama, part thriller. The entire cast was well chosen and all are believable but this is very much a film following lead actor François Cluzet, one of France's best actor who keeps on getting better and better even in his 50s now. Cluzet oozes charisma and could lead any big production.

People who enjoy thrillers such as the aforementioned Catch Me If You Can or dramas such as Up In the Air should have a great time watching this great film that tells an amazing and original story inspired by true events that took place in the 90s.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss In the Beginning (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: