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‘In Secret’ lovers pine and plot while they twist deadly knots

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In Secret

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What is the cost of passion? Where does one hide their secret thoughts in a world where repression and obedience are the rules? Elisabeth Olsen stars as Thérèse a young girl who is suddenly left by her father to live with her aunt, Madame Raquin, Jessica Lange and her cousin Camille, Tom Felton, in 1886 France. Madame informs her that her brother has never kept his word. A few scenes later they receive a letter that her father’s boat went down, and so she is left to live her days with Madame Raquin and Camille. He is a weak and sad person both physically and emotionally. Yet, Thérèse longs for more. She is growing into a woman, and becoming aware of herself as a sexual person, however, it is clear from the dour demeanor of Madame that such things are not to be acknowledged.
One day, Madame announces to her that she is going to be married. Thérèse is stunned, and further taken aback when Madame states that her intended is her cousin Camille. The sense of bleakness in this film is heavy and matches perfectly the grey and black taffeta that the women wear. This conveys a sense of repression that everyone seems to feel, much like the bears at the Zoo, who Camille likes to visit. After their wedding all three of them move to Paris. Life takes on a bland vapid feel, till one day into their shop Laurent, Oscar Isaac walks in. Within seconds from seeing Laurent meet the eyes of Thérèse we know these two are meant to be lovers. They steal away every chance they can to delight in each other’s bodies, and for the first time in the film there is light, and laughter. However, the two feel trapped as long as Camille is there, they can never be together. Can their love survive throughout it all?
Elisabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, and Tom Felton give tour de force performances throughout. It is not so much the twists and turns of this journey that take us in, it is the slight nuances to each role and how they play across the screen. We know the end before we get there, but it is how we get there that makes all the difference.

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