François Cluzet, who looks like Daniel Auteuil and runs like Dustin Hoffman, simmers beautifully as a Paris pediatrician who, eight years after the brutal murder of his beloved wife (Marie-Josée Croze), receives an e-mailed video purporting to show her alive. His search for her or her captors is, to understate the situation, complicated by their search for him and the growing suspicions of the policewho reopen the case after two more corpses pop upthat the doc is his wifes killer. That I cant parse the plot of Tell No One without recourse to multiple subordinate clauses gives you some idea of the labyrinthine twists in Guillaume Canets soignée adaptation of Harlan Cobens rather less elegant crime thriller. Among the movies many delights are the fluctuating rhythms of its pacing, an atmospheric volatility that sets off the doctors blooming paranoia against his sunlit, leafy surroundings, and a terrific cast that includes Kristin Scott Thomas as a bitchy lesbian with heart and a quietly funny François Berléand as an obsessive-compulsive detective. Canets grasp of the way institutional and personal corruption feed on each other is sure, though his excursion into Frances racial wars gilds the lily of a plot that already creaks with complication. Crucially, though, the love story at the movies heart is flat, cliché, and much less engaging than the satisfying mixed motives of its lively supporting characters.
July 11-17, 2008