The Flower Of Evil

The Flower Of Evil


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Francois (Benoit Magimel) has been away in the States. But now he's back in Bordeaux, just in time to support his stepmother Anne (Natalie Baye - on fine form in Helen Mirren mode) as she attempts to win an election and take the place of mayor on her local council.

To outward appearances the family - Anne, her husband Gerard (Bernard Le Coq), her daughter Michele (Melanie Doutey), Francois and Aunt Line (Suzanne Flon) are fine, upstanding members of the community, but beneath the surface they are tearing themselves apart.

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Despite the fact that they are step-siblings and cousins, Francois and Michele have a romantic attatchment. Neither can stand Gerard and it is a fact which threatens to split the family, especially when someone attempts to sabotage Anne's campaign by printing scurrilous flyers, suggesting Aunt Line was responsible for murdering someone 30 years earlier.

Francois, Aunt Line and Michele become convinced that Gerard is behind the slander, especially as he makes no secret of the fact that he wishes his wife would step down. So, as election day creeps closer, the tension, both at home and in the community, mounts.

There's something very average about this movie. Although the acting is good, the plot lacks punch and the characters are difficult to empathise, or sympathise, with. The cousins come across as a whiney pair, who care little for their relatives, while the alleged murder feels tacked on and undernourised. In fact, if this plot was an actor, it would be Calista Flockhart.

There is some tension, but it comes too little too late. The Flower Of Evil fails to bloom, not destined to be a classic.

Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2003
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Old crimes resurface in this tale of a family tearing itself apart from within. Out to own as part of .
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Director: Claude Chabrol

Writer: Caroline Eliacheff, Louise L Lambrichs, Claude Chabrol

Starring: Nathalie Baye, Benoit Magimel, Suzanne Flon, Bernard Le Coq, Melanie Doutey, Thomas Chabrol

Year: 2003

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France


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