From Academy Award-winning director Claude Lelouch (A Man And A Woman), this daring French psycho-thriller stars Fanny Ardant (Elizabeth, 8 Femmes) as a glamorous, best-selling crime novelist (Judith Ralitzer) whose ghost writer Pierre (the brilliant Dominique Pinon – Amelie, Betty Blue) emerges like a haunting character in one of her own novels. When Pierre meets Huguette (Audrey Dana), a high-strung hairdresser abandoned by her enraged fiance at a roadhouse, a bizarre relationship unfolds. But is Pierre really a writer, or a recently escaped serial killer? And will the pouting, celebrity-obsessed Judith soon have to contend with a ghost writer who wants to come out of his shadow? This is a game with high stakes – and deadly consequences!
Described by The New York Times as a “thriller, a murder mystery and … literary puzzle”, the film’s superb cast, gorgeous French locations, and Lelouch’s veteran touch overlay a complex tapestry of mystery and romance.
Born in the 9th arrondissement of Paris to a Jewish family of Algerian origin, Lelouch won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966 for Un homme et une femme (A Man and a Woman), as well as two oscars including best foreign language film. The 1981 musical epic Les Uns et les Autres is widely considered as his masterpiece, and his credits now add up to 50 or so films. His father gave him a camera to give him a fresh start after his failure in the baccalaureat. He started his career with reportage – one of the first to film daily life in the U.S.S.R., the camera hidden under his coat as he made his personal journey. He also filmed sporting events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Tour de France. His first full length film as director, Le Propre de l’homme, was decried by the critics – ‘Claude Lelouch, remember this name well, because you will not hear it again’ – Cahiers du Cinema said. La Femme Spectacle (1963), following prostitutes, women shopping, going for nose-jobs… read more
Unreliable literary narrator à la Ozon’s Swimming Pool; Ardant and Pinon delivering their own biting charisma as the ‘authors’ in Lelouch’s self-aware potboiler. Reconstruction of narrative in the form of cross-cutting, intimate montage of potential settings, characters; all crossing wires - constantly toying with identities, tropes and perceptions, with even whiffs of the chaotic charade and autobahn of Godard’s Week End, and of the general cross-country, illusory romp.
I'm going to categorize this film as a literary-thriller. It doesn't have the fast paced qualities of most thrillers like chase scenes, double crosses and fighting, but the story is woven like a web, and all is revealed at the end. A good film but, doesn't deliver that punch you want in a thriller.