A Secret

September 19, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

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

A Secret

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A Secret

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