Sunday, August 31, 2008

Catching Up: Tell No One

Yes, it's in French, and yes, it has subtitles. Don't let those things scare you away from Tell No One, a film that has at its heart a very American sensibility, as betrayed by its taut chase scenes and the English pop tunes that dot the soundtrack. The story, based on an American novel, is simple: a doctor (Francois Cluzet) and his wife go skinny dipping in a country lake; they are attacked and the wife dies. Years later, the doctor receives a mysterious email, featuring a video of a woman who looks like his wife. As the doctor's obsession with getting to the heart of the mystery grows, unknown forces fixate on him, and on the unidentified person who is sending the messages.

Cluzet, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a slightly younger Dustin Hoffman, sells us on the obsession without losing our sympathy. Kristin Scott Thomas and Gilles Lellouche stand out as two friends who stand by him even as it looks like he's going over the bend. Even though the story is a bit convoluted--OK, more than a bit--this is a fine opportunity to get credit for taking your date to a foreign arthouse film, that happens to be, in most respects, a commercial American film. A very good commercial American film. Highly recommended.

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