Guillaume Canet’s thriller is a labyrinthine but rivetingly perplexing web into which the audience is pulled and never let go. Alex Beck (Francois Cluzet) and Margot (Marie-Josee Croze) were childhood sweethearts. Now married and living in France, they go away for a quiet weekend at a cabin in the middle of nowhere and are skinny-dipping one night when Margot goes to let the dog out of the house. She never returns and before long Alex is knocked unconcious into the water. Eight years later, Alex is a pediatrician in a Paris hopsital with a tenuous relationship to his sister Anne (Marina Hands) but gets along pretty well with her wife Helene (the British Kristin Scott Thomas, speaking perfect French). One day, Alex receives an anonymous e-mail with a link to a real-time video of a crowded corner of the city – and his wife standing there in the middle of it. Soon, Alex is out to find his wife, who appears to be very much alive, and yet must do so on the run from the police, who through an elaborate frame-up job have come to suspect him in a series of other murders by a mysterious cadre of hired thugs who appear to have been responsible for the apparent murder and disappearance of Margot eight years earlier. There is more – much more in fact, including a mid-level crook whose kid Alex once treated; a high-speed foot chase through the crowded streets of Paris, across an expressway and through the Clignancourt antiques marketplace; the discovery of a shotgun used in another murder that is tied directly to Alex; a strategic tip-off by Alex’s lawyer (Nathalie Baye); the mysterious motives of Margot’s father (Andre Dussolier), an aging detective; the horse races enjoyed by a Senator (Jean Rochefort) and the questionable actions of his son (played by Canet himself). The film, co-written and directed by Guillaume Canet, is adapted from a novel by Harlan Coben. The film is all style and plot, but is utterly fascinating in its application of one of Hitchcock’s old standbys: the Innocent Man Wrongly Accused. As Alex (Cluzet) runs, we feel like we’re running with him, racing against time to discover the truth and prove himself innocent of multiple murders. This is one of the best thrillers of recent years.


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