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With: Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Wadeck Stanczak, Nicolas Giraudi, Jean-Claude Adelin, Jean Bousquet, Michel Grimaud, Philippe Landoulsi, Claire Nebout, Jacques Nolot, Victor Lanoux
Written by: André Téchiné
Directed by: André Téchiné
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 90
Date: 05/16/1986

Scene of the Crime (1986)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Criminal Consent

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Former Cahiers du Cinema film critic turned filmmaker André Téchiné took a stab at Claude Chabrol territory with this decent, though slightly jagged thriller. A troubled teen, Thomas (Nicolas Giraudi) meets up with an escaped convict, Martin (Wadeck Stanczak) on a remote country walk. Martin threatens Thomas and demands that he bring money for train fare. Meanwhile, Martin becomes involved with Thomas' beautiful mother Lili (Catherine Deneuve), who owns a nightclub and can't quite figure out how to take care of her son's complex needs. There's more, such as a murder and some other important characters, including Thomas' father -- estranged from Lili -- and Thomas' grandmother (played by the legendary Danielle Darrieux, of The Earrings of Madame de...). But it's better to let the viewer discover the twists and turns for him or herself. In a Chabrol film, the plot would take a back seat to the complex, moral and emotional binds that spring forth from the material. Téchiné doesn't quite seem to get that far, though the overall presentation of the film is certainly competent and even somewhat captivating. Téchiné wrote the screenplay with two notable talents, Pascal Bonitzer, who is best known for writing or co-writing Jacques Rivette's movies, and Olivier Assayas, who became an interesting filmmaker in the 1990s.

DVD Details: Kino Video has released Scene of the Crime under their Kimstim label. It's a first-rate anamorphic transfer with optional subtitles. The only extra is a director's bio and filmography.

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