Movie Reviews
4:42 pm
Tue August 5, 2008

Tell No One

Tell everyone.

It's arguable that Tell No One is better than Hitchcock's Wrong Man; if not, then it is the best psychological thriller to come from our French friends since With a Friend Like Harry (2000). But why argue? it is a satisfying murder mystery exploring the deep, albeit clich?d, bond between a husband and wife and the odd occurrences that might identify the wrong man as a murderer.

After pediatrician Alex Beck (Francoise Cluzet) loses his wife, Margot (Marie-Josee Croze) in strange circumstances, eight years later some, even the police, still consider him to have been a part of the crime. Once you get past his resemblance to Dustin Hoffman in better days, you can be drawn into the typically French love of slow takes and lingering close-ups that enhance suspense and deepen characterization and the modern careening camera that alerts to confusing clues.

Dr. Beck is the classic hero, to be pitied and admired in equal measure as he struggles with every new piece of evidence that trickles in over the years. Remarkable throughout is the evocation of love for his wife, even when sordid facts about her are alleged. Perhaps as intriguing are the small roles, all played by fine actors never out of step with the growing revelations and sense of danger.

Although director/writer Guillaume Canet has a longer film than should be (a well-photographed chase scene, this time without heavy Hollywood CGI, but also with little thematic merit), his characters, especially the protagonist, are fascinating, right down to the venerable Jean Rochefort, looking as good as ever and playing an aristocrat with just the right indifference. Kristin-Scott Thomas as a lesbian is equally relaxed and arresting.

I could go on: You get the idea I am hooked on this neo New Wave drama that reeks of glamorous common life, attention to minor details, and little concern with anything but the resolution of love and crime.