In this new millennium with the young French directors, the French cinema is going into a new renaissance, a cinema that moves away from the classical French-style but embraces a higher degree of authenticity in locations, quick cuts and compelling stories.
Today, cinema theory is a very strong factor in the United States with its film critics and the new interest in the theoretical implications of this art form. However, not too long ago, film theory was mainly dominated by the French.
After France was occupied by the German army from 1940 to 1944, the masters of cinema like René Clair, Jacques Feyder, Renoir went into exile, and a new generation of filmmakers emerged. These filmmakers started an artistic movement with a whole new style of editing and a visual style which came into it’s own in the late 1950s as the French New Wave, or Le Nouvelle Vague, with filmmakers such as Jacques Rivette and Claude Chabrol who had a background in film theory and criticism.
With today’s new generation of French filmmakers it seems that French cinema is being reborn, yet again.
A blend of American mystery-crime fiction and French cinematic style flourishes in a film by actor/director Guillaume Canet ‘Tell no one’ (‘Ne le dis a personne’). Tell no one is based on the best-selling novel by Harlan Coben, author of mystery and crime books who is extremely popular in France and the U.S.
Alex Beck (Francois Cluzet) is a pediatrician who is married to his childhood sweetheart Margot (Marie-Josee Croze). On a romantic night by an isolated lake, Margot is murdered under mystifying circumstances, attributed later to a serial killer. After 8 years of desperately trying to forget about what happened, Dr. Beck has been focusing all of his energy on work when he receives an e-mail that appears to be from his dead wife Margot. The e-mail arrives just as two new bodies are discovered in the same lake. This leads to the police focusing on Alex as their main murder suspect. His lawyer Elisabeth Feldman (Nathalie Baye) alters him that he will be arrested soon. With the help of his friend Helene (Kristin Scott Thomas), a lesbian who lives with Alex’s sister Anne (Marina Hands), the fantastic man-on-the-run sequence through Paris begins.
Winner of the national film award of France, the César Award, actor/director Guillaume Canet has many opportunities to work with wonderful directors, but it would appear that Mr. Canet prefers to explore his own unique style. In Tell no one he manages to bring the tension of a classic thriller and combine it with sharp shots and fast editing, into an exceptional, original French style crime movie.
Tell no one is a sharp, edgy thriller that keeps your interest from beginning to end.
Director: Guillaume Canet
Writers: Guillaume Canet (writer) Harlan Coben (novel)
USA Release date: 2 July 2008
Genre: Thriller – Runtime: 125 min – Country: France – Language: French
Weak: 1 Star Average: 2 Stars Good: 3 Stars Very Good: 4 Stars Excellent: 5 Stars