In Secret | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

In Secret

An adaptation of an Emile Zola novel about the moral perils of obsessive love


IN SECRET. Even though this tale takes place in 1860s Paris, I feel I have seen this exact-same plot play out in a 1940s film noir. But really, a morality tale about the perils of obsessive love befits any time. Charlie Stratton's drama is adapted from Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin, and recounts the troubled life of a young French woman. Therese (Elizabeth Olsen) is trapped in both a loveless marriage to a sickly, simpering fool (Tom Felton) and the gloomy yardage shop of her bossy mother-in-law (Jessica Lange). Then she meets her husband's co-worker, the sultry Laurent (Oscar Davis), and the pair quickly falls into a dangerous affair. It's a familiar cautionary tale, bolstered by rising actors Olsen and Davis, who manage to make this rather languidly paced tale crackle when they're together on screen. On the downside, there is so much whispering and (historically accurate) murk that it can be difficult to discern some of the story details.

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