Tell No One aka Ne de lis a Personne

Tell No One is a French mystery/thriller from 2006. The film is directed by Guillaume Canet who also co-wrote the screenplay with Philippe Lefebre adapting the Harlan Coben novel of the same name. It has its moments of high excitement and danger, as well as times when it moves slowly.  It plays like a Hitchcock film with the lead accused of a murder.

We hope that he is not responsible, we don’t think he is, but doubts begin to creep into our minds.

As the film begins a man and woman drive deep into the country to a rustic country house. Then later in the evening they go skinny dipping in a small lake.

The wife has to go back to the cabin to let the dog out. The husband, still on the raft, hears his name called out, shots fired, and then a scream. He dives off the raft, swims to the dock, climbs out, and is knocked unconscious by unknown parties. Flash forward 8 years and we learn that his wife was brutally murdered that night.

Who killed her is the main plot line that the rest of the film will be concerned with. Almost immediately following the wife’s murder, the police suspected the husband, the pediatrician Alexandre Beck. But they couldn’t make their case against him, so he was freed.  We don’t see this as we have flashed forward the 8 years.

Dr. Alexandre Beck and Mrs. Margot Beck

But in the present, two other bodies were discovered in the same area, so the police have decided to re-open the case of the murdered wife, Margot Beck. They ask for permission to search Beck’s property and for a DNA sample. He readily agrees.

Left to Right: Nathalie Baye as the attorney, Marina Kind as Beck’s Sister, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Helene Perkins

But the complications from the earlier case keep simmering.

The police captured a serial killer who ‘fessed’ up to a string of murders but not to Margot Beck’s. However,  this serial killer was convicted of all the crimes. With the recently discovered bodies, they’ve also found a shotgun. Is it Beck’s gun?

The Detective handling the investigation

On top of everything else, some mysterious ‘anonymous’ emails have been sent to Beck.

Actor Francois Cluzet might pass for Dustin Hoffman

The film has more suspense than thrills. But for those who want the thrills, there was a delicious chase scene. Through parks, through a maze like concentration of a flea-market, and even onto a Parisian Beltway with fast-moving traffic.

Dodging fast-moving cars on the highway as the police (below) can only watch

The role of the lead character, Alexandre Beck, is played by François Cluzet, who you will undoubtedly see as a man who more than resembles a mid/late 40’s Dustin Hoffman. The female leads are Marie-Josée Croze as Margot Beck, Marina Hinds as Beck’s sister Anna, Kristin Scott Thomas as Hélène Perkins who is Beck friend and the lover of Beck’s sister. Finally we have Nathalie Baye (below) as Beck’s attorney.

I liked the film for its mystery which on all accounts is masterfully done. This is not to say that there aren’t some yawning plot holes, but you’ll have to figure those out without my help.

The rights to film the novel were originally optioned by a Hollywood producer. But the writer of the novel, Harlan Coben, liked Director’s passion for the film, and that he understood that the novel was a love story first, a mystery second, and a thriller third. When the Hollywood option expired, Coben sold the right to the French Director Canet.

Three point five is the rating. I watched the film via Netflix streaming service and they have it as a DVD rental as well. Trailer is below.

Next Review: Read My Lips

5 thoughts on “Tell No One aka Ne de lis a Personne

  1. Watched this a couple of weeks ago and thought it was an excellent movie. The French really understand how to make a good thriller. Nice review!

Comments are closed.