Release Year: 2013
Director: Charlie Stratton
Writers: Charlie Stratton (screenplay), Neal Bell (based on his play In Secret), Émile Zola (based on his 1867 novel Thérèse Raquin)
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Lange, Tom Felton, Shirley Henderson, Matt Lucas, Mackenzie Crooke, John Kavanagh
Thérèse (Elizabeth Olsen) grows up with her aunt and cousin. When the two cousins are grown up they are married and the young couple and his mother move to Paris. Here she begins an affair with a colleague to her husband. But once her repressed desires are released it soon turns ugly for everyone involved.
This dark erotic thriller based on a story by French writer Émile Zola is heavy-duty. The period (1860’s France) is realised with few exteriors and a keen eye for beautiful period dresses. The repressive atmosphere of the small parisien streets reflect the repressive nature of Thérèse’s life. From a young age she shows a, hall we say, interest in her sexuality, but the sickly cousin Camille (Tom Felton) is not able to satisfy her carnal needs. Enter his dashing artist friend, Laurent (Oscar Isaac), as well as a domineering mother figure (Jessica Lange) and you have a cocktail bound to explode. And explode it does, spiraling into violence and ever more depressive moods. The story is hardly pleasant and shows the ugliest sides of its characters. Together with a atmosphere that is so dark and oppressive that it requires a taste for that sort of thing. Also, large parts of the film dissolves into sex scenes that do nothing to further the story. Tread with care.
Émile Zola’s story was et to be adapted in 1995 with Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson as the two lovers, but this adaptation never happened.
Picture Copyright: Sony