Written and Directed by Guillaume Canet
Starring Francois Cluzet, Marie-Josee Croze and Kristen Scott Thomas
There are times when I sit down to my computer to write about a film and I am stumped over how to convey my admiration, or lack thereof, without giving everything away. This is exponentially more difficult when the film itself explicitly insists you say nothing. And so I have decided to say very little about French director, Guillaume Canet’s TELL NO ONE. I can tell you this; it takes place approximately eight years after a man has lost his wife in a brutal murder and a new development in the case calls his innocence into question. I can also tell you that you’re better off not knowing anything else as the experience is all the more mesmerizing with just the right amount of ignorance going in.
Parlez vous francais? If you cannot answer that question, then I have my answer. TELL NO ONE contains just one extra in its DVD form, an hour long documentary chronicling the film’s making, and it is entirely in French. While the film is suitably subtitled, I guess the distributors decided that English speaking admirers of the film should be happy enough to enjoy the film and stop there. Given the film’s strong international success, they could have definitely splurged on a translator. That said, if you do speak French, I’m not sure you’re in any better position. The documentary itself goes absolutely nowhere and serves to showcase the director mostly as a young genius in the making, doing little to enhance the appreciation of the film itself.
TELL NO ONE is both tender and tense, both playful and sinister. Canet guides you along a journey that is consistently unexpected and yet never gimmicky or contrived. All you have to do is sit on the edge of your couch and wait with horrible impatience to be let in on the secret.