Philippe (Benoit Magimel) is attracted to a sexy bridesmaid (Laura Smet) at a wedding and can’t believe his luck when she’s willing to hook up with him… but there is a hidden agenda. Director Claude Chabrol and author Ruth Rendell share a fascination with what happens between two people who form an inseparable bond – especially if the consequences are dark. Similar themes were explored in La Cérémonie (1995). This familiar story is told in a slow but methodical manner that really draws you in. The chilly cinematography is contrasted with the passion of the doomed couple. A sculpture of Flora, the goddess of flowers, takes on dark significance.
2004-France. 111 min. Color. Produced by Patrick Godeau. Directed by Claude Chabrol. Screenplay: Claude Chabrol, Pierre Leccia. Novel: Ruth Rendell. Cinematography: Eduardo Serra. Cast: Benoit Magimel (Philippe Tardieu), Laura Smet (Stéphanie “Senta” Bellange), Aurore Clément (Christine), Bernard Le Coq, Solène Bouton, Anna Mihalcea.
Trivia: Original title: La demoiselle d’honneur.
Last word: “I worked on the script with Pierre Leccia, who had done an excellent job of adapting another of Ruth Rendell’s books. Usually, when I write, I’m the one who keeps the plot nice and tight and I let my co-writers concentrate on the psychological subtleties. In this instance, the plot was already nice and tight so I could just have fun picking up on the little things, which I don’t usually get the chance to do.” (Chabrol, press kit)