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Movie Reviews

In Secret



in secretReviewer: Graham Day

Director: Charlie Stratton

Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Jessica Lange, Tom Felton, Oscar Isaac

Released: 16th May 2014 (UK)

Set in the lower echelons of 1860s Paris. Thérèse Raquin is a sexually repressed beautiful young woman trapped into a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille, and forced into it by her domineering aunt, Madame Raquin. Thérèse spends her days confined behind the counter of a small shop and her evenings watching Madame play dominoes with an eclectic group. After she meets her husband’s alluring friend, Laurent LeClaire, she embarks on an illicit affair that leads to tragic consequences and so begins In Secret.

I didn’t know much heading into In Secret, I knew it was based on a French novel, starred Elizabeth Olsen, Jessica Lange, Tom Felton and Oscar Isaac and that was pretty much it. In Secret is one of the more unusual movies I’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s also one of the more clichéd movies I’ve seen in recent weeks. The only real problem with In Secret is that after the second act it becomes completely predictable, so if you have seen most romantic movies set in France then you have seen this movie. There is the sexually frustrated female character, the sickly male character, the domineering old seamstress and the charismatic male who is the escape the sexually frustrated female craves and it is all so French.

Some of the most compelling scenes in the movie involve Thérése and Laurent, the two of them interacting, their dialogue and their chemistry. Not only that but Tom Felton is brilliant in this movie, he is great as Camille and is also the only character who doesn’t fall to the problems of clichés and predictability and this hurts the two characters, Thérése and Laurent as it makes their actions less sympathetic and sets them up as villains far sooner than they should be. Luckily the movie is saved by the stellar cast and their great acting. Oscar Isaac is brilliant as the charismatic Laurent, Elizabeth Olsen is wonderful as Thérése and her journey from the beginning of the movie to the end is quite genuine but the breakout star is Jessica Lange. Madame Raquin is a brilliantly dark character who by the end of the movie is clearly the heroine.

In Secret is wholly entertaining and engaging even with a predictable story and a run time that is twenty minutes too long.

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