- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 50 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Color
- Released: March 10, 2009
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Strand Home Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 09/26/2008
"[T]he filmmaker's decision to shoot the past in color and the present in murky black and white is an inspired visual translation of psychological truth." -- Grade: B
Total Film - 12/01/2008
3 stars out of 5 -- "[H]ighly moving, visually lush....Ludivine Sagnier's raw, wronged wife is a Cesar-worthy stunner."
With its nonlinear storytelling and gifted cast, Claude Miller's Holocaust film distinguishes itself from the other, more standard offerings in its genre. Beginning with the German occupation of the 1940s, A SECRET bounces between decades in the 20th century, ending with its protagonist, François (Mathieu Amalric), as a grown man in the 1980s. Young François came of age in the '50s and '60s, a scrawny only child who reflects nothing of his athletic parentage. His lovely mother, Tania (Cécile de France) is a former swimming champion and model, while his handsome father, Maxime (Patrick Bruel), still demonstrates considerable talent at gymnastics. Without any siblings, young François invents an imaginary brother who joins him at the dinner table, much to his parents' dismay. Years later, a teenaged François gets into a fight during a school showing of NIGHT AND FOG, and family friend Louise (Julie Depardieu) decides that it is time to tell him of his family's hidden history during the war years.
Based on the book by Philippe Grimbert, this adaptation retains a literary quality in its transition to film. A strong emphasis on character, narrative, and memory pervades A SECRET, and the result is a masterfully done film. Director Miller (LA PETITE LILI), who also wrote the script, crafts smooth transitions between the time periods, so that the end result is a cohesive and effective film that never veers into sentimentality. The fine cast--Amalric, de France, Bruel, Depardieu, and Ludivine Sagnier--turns in nuanced performances that perfectly reflect the humanity of their characters. In addition to her acting talents, de France could be France's most beautiful blond export since Catherine Deneuve.
Family Interaction |
Paris, France |
Theatrical Release |
True Story |
World War II