welcome to lobos reviews

title image

Movie Review: A Secret

Alternate Title: The Lies That Bind

Story: We are fortunate that there seems to be an endless number of stories that emanate from difficult memories of World War II. This very satisfying film about Jews in Paris before, during and after the Nazi occupation is just such a gem. Directed deftly by Claude Miller and written by Mr. Miller and Natalie Carter and based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Philippe Grimbert.

The film spans 30 years through the eyes of Francois. Francois as a child, a young adult and finally an adult who comes face to face with his family and their secret past. The secrets and lies that imbued his family come full cycle through revelations that a neighbor reveals. Why there are whispers, why there are untold stories, why there are unanswered questions form the heart of this film.

It take a while for the story to gather its strength. Through patient revelations, fine acting and a respect for what people had to endure during this period of time
we get to reap the benefits of terrific story telling. It is a film about passion, family, endurance, resistance, secrets and acceptance.

Catch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MpGb5xk1lk

Acting: Cécile de France as Tania is gorgeous and very intriguing. Patrick Bruel as the father, Maxime is charismatic and very well cast. Ludivine Sagnier as Hannah is wonderful. Julie Depardieu as neighbor, Louise is terrific. Orlando Nicoletti as young Simon is adorable. Valentin Vigourt as the 7-year-old François is loving. Quentin Dubuis as the 14-year-old François is compassionate and Mathieu Amalric as the adult François, is, as always terrific.

Trivia: Ludivine Sagnier won a Cesar Award nomination (the French equivalent of the Oscar) and the Romy Schneider Award that is given each year to a promising young French actress for her role in Eight Women. Julie Marion Depardieu is the daughter of Gérard Depardieu and Élisabeth Depardieu, and the sister of Guillaume Depardieu - all of whom are also film actors. Patrick Bruel is a Jewish French singer, actor, and professional poker player.

Predilection: None

Critters: A delightful, patient cat. here is a dead dog seen in the film but you do not see the dog die.

Food: Yummy table fare.

Sex Spectrum: This is a French film - of course there is sex.

Visual Art: Much attention is paid to details of the time and it is brought home beautifully.

Theater Audience: A handful of Francophiles.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Nazis make me squirm

Drift Factor: It was a slow moving film but I weny with the pace and enjoyed it as if I were reading a good book.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: I had a few tears at the end.

Oscar Worthy: Why not?

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine for this film.

Length: Under two hours.