In Secret feels like a film that has sat in stasis, waiting – to get made, for its cast to stabilise, for its leads to maybe even make it big.

In a claustrophobic, stagey Paris primarily existing within a single shop, where lustful glances and longing sighs are exchanged through dozens of smeary-glass windows, darkness hovers just out of enjoyment’s reach.

Unfortunately it’s all too uncertain of its tone, not least due to the rare humour injected by Messrs Lucas and Crook. Their performances – and those of Olsen, Isaac and especially Lange – are suitably well-played. But not enough.

All filler no thriller; a film which uses its fine cast to meander around tame scenes of lust before pulling back from either sustained darkness or levity, both of which would have likely provided something solidly engaging.



CAST: Jessica Lange, Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton, Matt Lucas, Mackenzie Crook

DIRECTOR: Charlie Stratton

WRITERS: Charlie Stratton (screenplay), Émile Zola (novel), Neal Bellin (play)

SYNOPSIS: A sexually repressed young woman forced into marriage to her cousin soon develops feeling for her husband’s colleague, setting in motion a tragic chain of events.