Film Review: In Secret

In Secret

An adaptation of Emile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin, In Secret is high melodrama. The film functions successfully as such, although those expecting a serious period drama may be surprised.

Sent to live with her aunt and sickly cousin, Thérèse Raquin finds her life restricted. It is only after the family move to Paris that Thérèse has more freedom, but this comes at a cost…

Director Charlie Stratton’s adaptation of Zola’s story is a period drama that offers comic amusement with its brand of humour and entertainment with its melodrama. The film is played out in the style of a soap opera, with moments of emotion heightened to the point of camp.

It is In Secret‘s comedy that indicate that the melodrama in the film is deliberate rather than accidental. If it was not for the overt comedy stylings, In Secret could be considered an attempt at serious drama gone awry. The film works perfectly at the level of cam melodrama. Stratton and the screenwriters surely know this, and pepper the film with amusing asides and covertly comic supporting characters.

The plot of In Secret is played out in an extravagant manner. With the passion and tone, events move briskly and without a great deal of depth or pondering. As a result, viewers may feel that they do not have the chance to really get to know the characters beyond a superficial level. Ultimately, this is not a major problem as the tone ensues that most will simply be eager to reach the next twist in proceedings.

Cinematography in the film works well, with some beautifully composed shots. Costumes and art direction are also good. Jessica Lange is ever the scene stealer, offering a performance in keeping with the tone of In Secret. Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac show strengths in different areas.

In Secret may not please all, but those who submit to the melodrama should find it an entertaining watch.

Stuff To Look At

A treasure trove of film-related goodness this week, including X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow and Godzilla

X-Men Days of Future Past

Here is a new featurette for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Wolverine is one of a host of characters returning from the original X-Men film series. X-Men: Days of Future Past is released in UK cinemas on 22nd May 2014.

Love, Rosie

Above is a teaser trailer for new comedy Love, Rosie. Starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, the film centres on the friendship of Rosie and Alex who go and study in the US together. Love, Rose is scheduled for release in October 2014.


Show us Godzilla! Listening to director Gareth Edwards talk about the monster in his upcoming blockbuster makes me all the more eager to see it. Godzilla hits the big screen on 15th May 2014.


Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is something rather extraordinary. A fictional film made with the same group of actors over a twelve year period, Boyhood is certainly something to look out for. The film is released on 11th July 2014.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow Poster

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in action adventure Edge of Tomorrow. The film seems like it fits into both Cruise and Blunt’s fairly recent predilection for science fiction. Edge of Tomorrow is released in UK cinemas on 30th May 2014.

22 Jump Street

As silly as it is, I am not going to deny that I laughed at this clip. 21 Jump Street was a very entertaining picture, so I am hoping that its sequel will deliver more of the same. 22 Jump Street is released in UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

In Secret

Here is a clip from upcoming period drama In Secret. Set in 1860s Paris, the film stars Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton and Oscar Isaac. An adaption of Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin, In Secret hits cinemas on 16th May 2014.

If I Stay

If I Stay is a romantic drama starring Chloe Grace Moretz. The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name. I am not familiar with it, but I presume it is popular with the kids. If I Stay is due for release later this year.

The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki’s farewell picture is a wonderful ode to dreaming. The Wind Rises continues Studio Ghibli’s tradition for superb animation. The film is released on 9th May 2014.