September 19, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Secret

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
105 minutes
Limited Release Date
09/10/08
performer
Cecile De France, Patrick Bruel, Mathieu Amalric, Ludivine Sagnier
director
Claude Miller
distributor
Strand Releasing
author
Claude Miller
genre
Foreign Language, Drama
We gave it a B

The secret uncovered by an adolescent in 1950s Paris is strikingly specific, yet echoes with the history of millions: A frail only child (Quentin Dubuis) of athletic parents (Cécile De France and Patrick Bruel) learns he had a half brother, whose fate was caught up with that of countless other French Jews in the Nazi era. Claude Miller’s adaptation of Philippe Grimbert’s spare, autobiographical novel is sometimes ungainly in its leaps backward from the present in A Secret (where Mathieu Amalric plays the now grown-?up Grimbert). But the filmmaker’s decision ?to shoot the past in color and the present in murky black and white is an inspired visual translation of psychological truth. B

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