I'm telling everyone to see this film
Written: Aug 6, 2008 (Updated Aug 17, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
- User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Story, plot, acting, writing, pacing, direction, sound, score. Virtually all filmmaking aspects are excellent.
The Bottom Line: One of the best films of 2008, a real treat for adults who like smart, classy, and quality suspense/mystery thrillers. Please see this film and decide for yourself.
"Tell No One" is the new, French mystery suspense/thriller based upon a novel by Harlan Coben and directed by Guillaume Canet. I've never heard of the author or the director before, though many people will after seeing this film. It's also produced by critically acclaimed director/writer Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element, Le Femme Nikita) and is hands down, one of the best films of the 2008. Furthermore, it is an strong return to mystery/drama storytelling, with one of the most intriguing and well developed story, plot, and performance of the year.
From the opening the female and male characters are likable. They're also shown at times as children as the story progresses, so it's really cute and touching to see how they developed friendship before falling in love. Something happens (shown in the trailers) to Margot and we know only what Beck knows for most of the film. But 8 years later (also shown in the trailer) the husband (Beck) receives an e-mail from who appears to be... his wife! Now all of this is established in the beginning of the film. I won't go into any details past that. You'll have to see the film for yourself as it's very interesting.
The main character is very developed. He's smart, caring, decisive, and more. We care about Pediatrician Alexandre Beck, the husband, and his beloved wife Margot. She's a beautiful woman and together they have chemistry. Their relationship feels natural, real. It's believable. Once something happens to Beck's wife, we want to know why, who, how, etc. The audience is put into his shoes for much the rest of the film after he wakes from a coma after the night he will never forget. From his perspective, we learn as much as he does in his quest for truth and resolution. The result is more elaborate, involved, and intellectually woven than most viewers would imagine. The final product is both compelling and rewarding. One of the most effective approaches to the film's intensity is the suspense that surrounds the lead as the audience assumes his role. However, there are few moments later on in the film involving two antagonists that are less effective because the director shows us something private from their point of view, not from Beck's. The film in these few moments are here for plot exposition. However it's less engrossing and just slightly odd considering we have been the second eyes and mind of Beck previously. In other words, we've become quite attached to Beck by now and feel like a silent third person in his presence. Naturally, the film would appear incomplete and confusing if we witnessed every event from Beck's point of view. In short, the film feels most gripping when we're behind Beck, the majority of the film. But the other parts are very well done and essential pieces to the puzzle too.
"Tell No One" is subtitled with English subtitles in the US, and it would be ashame if that turned off anyone from seeing it unless they are blind or have a reading comprehension problem. It's a very smart and well paced together film, and is gripping from beginning to end. Again, I haven't read the book, but it appears that since "Atonement" and "No Country For Old Men," this is the next greatest adaption based on a famous best-selling novel. I enjoy it the most since Atonement. The director, writer(s), and overall cast and crew did a wonderful job. Especially the French actor lead, Francois Cluzet. He gives a wonderful performance that feels authentic and deserves a best actor nomination to say the least. This film deserves to be nominated for best director, screenplay, adapted screenplay, supporting actress, score, and picture as well, though I'm aware it cannot win certain Oscar awards due to being a foreign film. This is the best foreign film of the year, and if not, one of the very best.
"Tell No One" is the little smart, passionately made and arresting mystery/thriller that is gradually catching many people by surprise. There are few very unexpected and funny moments, and an overall growing intensity as the film progresses. But the film never dives into an action film without a brain, let alone an action film with one. It always maintains a strong grip and intrigue, even when it shows us the why, when, who, how, where, thus unraveling the allure that the film is so wonderfully built upon. In other words, the film is congruent. It maintains a carefully constructed focus and direction throughout. I loved the ending. Some people clapped when the credits began to roll. I also noticed some people that appears to have tears in their eyes when the film ended. Some just sat there starring at the screen, sitting through the credits, discussing it, etc.
The film appears to be Unrated in some theaters although I don't know why. It is an R-Rated film with several brief moments of violence and nudity, though none of the violence is graphic, gory, or gratuitous. There is very little overall compared to most films now days. In short, this is not a violent film overall, and the several darker moments feel appropriate and very well done or effective relative to the story and subject matter.
In conclusion, "Tell No One" is a breath of fresh air. It is hands down one of the best films of the year and stands as a very strong adult suspense/mystery thriller, just as "The Dark Knight" was to adult action/thrillers. Those who generally like mature, provocative films that make the viewer think will appreciate this gem. It's a real puzzle and pieced together extremely well. The writers based pay careful attention to the little details in the story. The performance by the male lead feels most natural and realistic. He becomes the character he portrays, desperate to find out what happened to his wife and get resolve, even if it drives him to insanity. Do you know that feeling when you walk out of a theater feeling like you've just experienced seeing a great film? "Tell No One" is such a film. It's powerful in its own subtle ways, smart, thoughtful, and touching. I rarely give any film an A- let alone an A. But I felt that the only 2008 films that I have seen so far all year that deserve an such high praise and review are "The Dark Knight" and "Tell No One" for going beyond expectations and turning out to be truly great films.
2 Hours. 5 Min.
Art/Foreign, Drama, Thriller and Adaptation
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Movie Mood: Date Movie
Viewing Method: Sneak Preview at My Local Theater
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.