Le Secret review

Co-writer of The Dream Life Of Angels, Virginie Wagon's directorial debut subverts that Gallic movie mainstay, - the ménage à trois, - by making a content mother the adulterous protagonist.

Marie (Anne Coesens) is an encyclopedia saleswoman who orchestrates an affair with a black American client (Tony Todd) but doesn't conceal it from her husband. The raw sex makes comparisons to Last Tango In Paris inevitable but unfair: this is more a drifting waltz into self-awakening.

Wagon skillfully contrasts the mundanity of married life with Marie's salty liaisons. Coesens draws an unshowy, intimate portrait of a woman realising her dormant desires, but the real revelation is Todd. Best known as Candyman's murmuring psycho, his misty enigma and slack-arse seduction technique dominates. Slight stuff, but an ambiguous outcome makes it memorable.

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