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May 15, 2014 3:52 pm
In Secret makes the week an orgy for déjà vu. Elizabeth Olsen, a supporting star in Godzilla, plays Zola’s Thérèse Raquin to Oscar Two Faces of January Isaac’s seducer-painter. For good histrionic measure Jessica Lange, spitting passion, takes a knife and fork to the scenery as the heroine’s guardian aunt.
The scenery needs an attack by cutlery, or some kind of tear-it-apart-and-start-again instrumentation. The movie-settish interiors and street exteriors are all painted grunge green or grunge grey: a one-coat Expressionism bordering on one-brush, broad-stroke miserabilism. No credible Parisian ever lived in this stagy Paris; and you can’t do Zola by disregarding detail or social/topological minutiae. Without them he becomes, as here, a slosh-it-on melodramatist. Olsen, Isaac and Lange, though, are each good enough to keep on call for another, better film of the novel. Maybe by Scorsese? Or Polanski? . . .
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