36 user 63 critic

The Flower of Evil (2003)

La fleur du mal (original title)
Three generations of a wealthy Bordeaux family are caught in the crossfire when Anne decides to run for mayor, thanks to a political pamphlet that revives an old murder scandal.


Claude Chabrol


Caroline Eliacheff (original scenario), Louise L. Lambrichs (original scenario) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathalie Baye ... Anne / Wife
Benoît Magimel ... François / Gerard's son
Suzanne Flon ... Aunt Line
Bernard Le Coq Bernard Le Coq ... Gérard / Husband
Mélanie Doutey ... Michèle / Anne's daughter
Thomas Chabrol ... Matthieu Lartigue
Henri Attal Henri Attal ... Fanny's Father-in-law
Kevin Ahyi Kevin Ahyi ... First Kid
Françoise Bertin Françoise Bertin ... Thérèse
Jérôme Bertin ... Volunteer
Caroline Baehr Caroline Baehr ... Fanny
Didier Bénureau Didier Bénureau ... Brissot
Yvon Crenn Yvon Crenn ... Yves Pouët
Michèle Dascain Michèle Dascain ... Marthe
Jean-Marc Druet Jean-Marc Druet ... Lab Assistant


Anne runs for re-election to the town council, shepherded by Matthieu, her fellow candidate and campaign manager. Her husband, Gérard, a businessman and philanderer, hates the campaign and feels vindication when a nasty leaflet circulates about their family history. His son, François, just back from the U.S., is in love with his step-sister Michèle, and she with him, although something is amiss besides their being cousins. Watching it all is their elderly Aunt Line, who has her own haunting memories. A death in World War II and a death on election night collapse time in the perpetual present and bring unexpected expiation. There's a lot to celebrate. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Michèle Charpin-Vasseur: A week living like hypocrites.
Aunt Line: Dear, we've been living like hypocrites for years.
François Vasseur: Let's be philosophical. People have lived like hypocrites since the dawn of time. That's what you call "civilisation."
See more »


Features Full Moon (1998) See more »


Un Souvenir
Music by Fernand Capitani
Lyrics by Oreste Rossi
Performed by Damia
See more »

User Reviews

Chabrol Wields His Cinematic Scalpel To Corruption and Decadent Relationships
23 May 2013 | by museumofdaveSee all my reviews

Director Chabrol takes on the French bourgeois so insidiously, so quietly, so subtly, that you don't realize his cinematic scalpel has just removed several layers of sensitive skin; this family-based thriller shows a woman running for office, examines her philandering husband, and zeroes in on two slightly incestuous slightly related children, all under the care of a quietly smiling, deadly caretaker, who smiles while encouraging the tots to misbehave.

The plot, such as it is, could be frustrating if the viewer is looking for any kind of forward action--this is an expose of empty morality, and hardly qualifies as a suspense film (you might even ask--when will this end?), but in considering the gorgeously cinematic interiors (and beach setting) in contrast to the vapid emptiness each character ultimately reveals, this could be a film you like very much; it's typically French in that it tends to look inside rather than outside, examine character development in lieu of action perpetrated by a hero.

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Release Date:

19 February 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Blume des Bösen See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,419, 12 October 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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