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Kirtsen Scott Thomas shines in this French melodrama

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Suzanne (Scott Thomas) lives with her husband and two teen-age children in a gorgeous house in the south of France. But her well-padded ordinary life is upended when she falls for Ivan (Sergi López), a rough-edged Spanish handyman. When their affair is revealed, everything -- quite understandably, even among the genteel bourgeoisie -- turns ugly. Catherine Corsini's melodrama covers familiar ground, with a tale deeply reminiscent of 1940s Hollywood noirs where a star-crossed love affair finds a true path to a gun going off. But, Corsini's film is somewhat more ethereal, with lots of bright sunshine, al fresco romance and an occasionally languid pace. A tale told a thousand times can still be compelling, and most viewers should find an easy affinity with Scott Thomas' quietly devastating portrait of woman rendered both powerful and powerless by an amour fou. In French, with subtitles. Starts Fri., Jan. 7. Oaks

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