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| | |-+  French Neo-Noir/Marion Cotillard: A Private Affair (2002)
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: French Neo-Noir/Marion Cotillard: A Private Affair (2002)  ( 293 )
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« : November 18, 2017, 09:59:43 PM »



“I never forget a face,even battered ones.”

** This review may contain spoilers ***

September 2016:

Searching for movies online that a family friend was after,I got told about a Neo-Noir he had been interested in seeing for years, that was an early credit for Marion Cotillard. Checking various sites,the only think I could find was a French DVD,with no English Subtitles.

October 2017:

Whilst getting to place an order with a DVD seller,I decided to have another go at finding the movie,and stumbled on a DVD with English Subtitles…Only on Amazon Canada. Hoping to get the flick right away,I found no seller who would send it to the UK. Mentioning this in passing to the DVD seller,I was happily caught by surprise,when they said that they could order it from Canada,and then send it to me, (shame the DVD could not claim for flyer miles!)which led to me at last discovering the private affair.

The plot:

After being missing for over six months, Rachel Siprien's mum hires private detective François Manéri as a last roll of the dice in finding her daughter. Learning from the cops that they have hardly any clues over what has happened to her, Manéri begins visiting the clubs she went to and the friends Siprien,which leads to two thugs breaking his knuckles,and telling Manéri to stop checking Siprien's friends list. Catching the eye of Siprien's friend Clarisse Entoven, (who he starts sleeping with) Manéri opens the box to Siprien's private affairs.

View on the film:

Linking Manéri and Siprien together,the alluring Marion Cotillard (who appears naked a number of times) gives a excellent performance as Entoven, whose free-spirit personality allows Cotillard to give the title a mischievous Femme Fatale glint in the eye. Given the challenge of holding the big twist together, Cotillard does incredibly well in one of her first film credits of bringing the revelation across smoothly, via calmly giving Entoven's free-spirit nature a frosty sting. Rolling Manéri into the case looking like a total mess, Thierry Lhermitte gives a great, rugged performance as Film Noir loner Manéri.

Unwrapping the hidden seedy underbelly of the city, Lhermitte strikes Manéri with a grit that bleeds out in every attempt made to stop him,as he tightens his focus on finding Spirien,whilst allowing his attention to drift away,as Manéri becomes more entangled with Entoven. Keeping the private affairs of Entoven and her family closely guarded,the screenplay by writer/director Guillaume Nicloux tugs at the anxieties of Manéri, which are laid to bare in wonderfully odd sex dungeons and the clipped mutterings Manéri catches from each family member.

Shooting an arrow into Manéri's view on the case, Nicloux cuts a deeply cynical wound into Manéri with a crystallising ending,that sends Manéri off to drive back into his Neo-Noir pessimism. Cracking Manéri's hands against the red lights of the city, director Guillaume Nicloux & cinematographer Olivier Cocaul rub up a stylised Neo-Noir covered in grime, as Nicloux covers Manéri's investigation with saturated green,blue and yellow tints,that reflect the murky details Manéri uncovers of a private affair.

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