"In Secret" Review

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How do you like your romantic drama? I’ve always been one of those people who have to ignore the plot holes and overdramatic performances in soap operas in order to follow them. Yet, there is obviously a huge population of people who don’t care and get swept away in the melodrama. If you fit the latter, “In Secret” is your kind of movie.

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The film stars Elizabeth Olsen as Therese. After her father drops her off with her overbearing aunt (Jessica Lange) and sickly cousin Camille (Tom Felton) never to return, she grows up with her new family almost Cinderella style. Her aunt forces her to take care of and eventually marry Camille. Score for Camille! He’s a momma’s boy who has the winning personality to go with his years under his mother’s hand. 

So it’s no surprise when the group moves to Paris and meets a worldly artist named Laurent (Oscar Isaac), that Therese would desire and fall for him. Laurent is an escape, a well rounded human being, and not her chauvinistic first cousin who calls her a “portable pillow” at one point in the film. The fact that the film is based off of Emile Zola’s 1867 novel Therese Raquin explains why the steamy love affair dialogue oozes with descriptive language that doesn’t feel authentic. The screenwriting feels copied and pasted from the novel’s pages rather than adapted into cinematic dialogue which makes the secret hard to swallow.

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After the duo decides to get rid of Camille, the movie gets a little interesting as Therese and Laurent deal with their cover up and guilt. If you like soap operas, you’ll probably love “In Secret”, otherwise outside of the costumes the movie is underwhelming. I guess if you can't judge a book by its' cover, you can't judge a movie by its' cast! 

 

Rating: D

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.