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A Secret(Un secret)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France
·
2007

1h 45m

Director Claude Miller
Starring Patrick Bruel, Cécile de France, Ludivine Sagnier, Julie Depardieu

Genre Drama

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François Grimbert, a physician, gradually peels the layers of his buried family history which resulted in his difficult upbringing. To keep the family's many secrets, Grimbert's athletic father labored to stamp out stereotypical Jewish characteristics he perceived in his son.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

Village Voice by

Deepened by its complex back-and-forth chronology, deft shifts in perspective, and a significantly counterintuitive color-coding of past and present, A Secret suggests that it's not illicit passion, but rather the crime of denial, that has screwed up this family down the generations.
80

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Nearly every melodramatic impulse has been suppressed in favor of a calm precision that serves both to intensify and delay the emotional impact of the film’s climactic disclosures.
80

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

A clanking, old-fashioned period drama infused with almost unbearable grief, Claude Miller's film A Secret has an enormous significance in France that it can never possess elsewhere.
70

NPR by Bob Mondello

Claude Miller's ravishingly shot drama A Secret gives up its titular mystery early, so it may seem odd to speak of the suspense it generates.
60

New York Daily News by Jami Bernard

Beautifully acted and exquisitely photographed, director Claude Miller's superb drama, from Philippe Grimbert's autobiographical novel, is awash with the ripples created by unlived lives.
83

The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

A Secret is suitably tense, sad, and deeply poignant as it moves toward an epilogue exploring the idea that everything rots and decays, no mater how well-maintained.
50

New York Post by V.A. Musetto

The fractured timeline covers five decades, which Miller weaves together, with the past shot in color and the present in black and white. Still, the soapy climax is unnecessary.

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