TELL NO ONE
Pediatrician Dr Alex Beck (François Cluzet) has been devastated since his childhood sweetheart and wife, Margot (Marie-Jose Croze), was savagely murdered in the early days of their marriage eight years ago; a serial killer was blamed. But when he receives an anonymous email directing him to a webcam, he sees a woman's face standing in the crowd, being filmed in real time. Margot's face...Is she still alive? And why does she instruct him to tell no one? He barely has time to lift the lid on this Pandora's Box before the police, led by Eric Levkowitch (Francois Berleand), reopen the murder case, and are convinced he's the murderer. But Levkowitch begins to have doubts when he sees too many holes in the case against Alex. But someone else, and more dangerous, is after him.
Review by Louise Keller:
Despite a plot that eventually becomes somewhat farfetched, Tell No One is an absorbing and intriguing thriller that surprises at every turn. As a car negotiates the ups and downs of a hilly road in the picturesque French countryside, it occurred to me that the car is a little like the truth, as it appears and disappears from view at intermittent intervals. Based on a best selling novel by Harlan Coben, director and screenwriter Guillaume Canet has amassed a superb cast, headed by the charismatic François Cluzet, who brings complexity and style to the role of the everyman protagonist.
Once two bodies are discovered in a dense forest in Rambouillet, a small town south of Paris, it's as though a door to the past has been reopened, for Cluzet's Alex Beck, conscientious and caring pediatrician, grief-stricken widower and concerned friend. We quickly learn about the mysterious circumstances in which he loses his childhood sweetheart and wife, one unfathomable night eight years ago. There's a heart carved in an old tree, photographs of a bashing, a murder, surveillance, an antagonistic father-in-law, equestrian pursuits, a secret meeting, police corruption and a dog that inadvertently becomes an alibi. As the wrongly accused man on-the-run, Beck finds unexpected help from the father of one of his patients, who himself is on the wrong side of the law. The hand-held camera work through the chase sequences in Versailles are effective, as is the music by the enigmatically named 'M', whose simple but haunting musical phrases are distinctive as are the original songs that reflect the characters' inner thoughts.
Kristin Scott-Thomas is especially good as Beck's lesbian friend and Marie-Josée Croze effuses warmth and mystique as Beck's wife Margot. Perhaps there are too many characters with which to engage (without being confused), but François Berléand's sympathetic policeman and Jean Rochefort's Gilbert Neuville are memorable in pivotal roles. Not withstanding it is a little long, there are enough elements to make this a dizzying and stimulating journey.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Tell No One won the 2007 Lumiere (French equivalent to the Golden Globes) for best film and was nominated for nine Cesar Awards, winning four: best actor (François Cluzet), best director (Canet), best editing (Herve de Luze) and best music (Mathieu Chedid - also known as M). The reason is that while it is originally an English language thriller - very well adapted from US author Harlan Coben's novel - the transition to contemporary France adds a layer of cultural complexity to the cleverness of the plot. It becomes an intriguing game of chess with each of the players making moves we can't always follow but in which we're always interested.
It's a murder mystery, but the murder (indeed, murders) is not what it seems; it's also a political thriller, a love story and a police procedural. All these elements fit snugly together, though, rather like a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle. There are plot twists to the plot twists, surprises and revelations that keep us engaged and ultimately, a romantic engine to drive it all. Guillaume Canet does a splendid job both as director and co-writer.
As for the cast, this is French A list and they're all terrific, with Canet himself taking the smallest but nastiest role as the son of a wealthy senator whose fatal flaw is at the heart of the whole drama. Cluzet, whose facial expressions often reminds us of Dustin Hoffman, excels as the grieving husband suddenly a suspect and fugitive; Andre Dussollier is riveting as his wife's father; François Berléand creates a complex detective Levkowitch; Kristin Scott Thomas is marvellous as the lesbian friend; and Nathalie Baye turns to steel as the hot shot lawyer. All the supports are also top notch, including a memorable Gilles Lelouche as Bruno the muscle, who owes Alex a big favour.
The complex strands of the story are ably juggled and the film is technically seamless - you can't even notice the work. A thriller for grown ups.
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TELL NO ONE (MA)
Ne le dis á personne
CAST: Francois Cluzet, Marie-Jose Croze, Andre Dussolier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Francois Berleand, Nathalie Baye, Jean Rochefort, Marina Hands, Gilles Lellouche, Philippe Lefebvre
PRODUCER: Alain Attal
DIRECTOR: Guillaume Canet
SCRIPT: Guillaume Canet, Philippe Lefebvre (novel by Harlan Coben)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Christoph Offenstein
EDITOR: Herve de Luze
MUSIC: Mathieu Chedid (aka M)
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Philippe Chiffre
RUNNING TIME: 131 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 8, 2007