A Secret (PG)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue May 6 2008French director Claude Miller is noted, positively, for his Truffaut inheritance. Sadly, his handsomely mounted, ably acted adaptation of Philippe Grimbert’s novel of the travails of a Parisian Jewish family – pre- and post-Occupation – shares much of the crippling, morally neutered inconsequentiality of one of his mentor’s worst films, the wartime-set ‘The Last Metro’. ‘A Secret’ suffers from the hazards of the split time-frame movie – it intercuts from the ’30s and ’40s to 1962 and 1982 as Mathieu Amalric’s François slowly pieces together the secrets of his family.
It also suffers from Miller’s diversion to concentrate on romantic intrigue and the guilty sexual past of his parents (Cécile de France, Patrick Bruel). Dark subtexts equating physical prowess and Fascist anti-semitism muddy the waters further. On the other hand, the film is free of fake portentousness, allowing the family’s reluctance or inability to recognise the implications of Hitler’s rise to power to assume tragic dimensions.
Author: Wally Hammond
Fri May 9, 2008