France, 2002, 129 minutes, Colour.
Daniel Auteuil, Geraldine Pailhas, Francois Cluzet, Immanuel Devos, Bernard Fresson.
Directed by Nicole Garcia.
L'Adversaire is a strong film about a man who seems on the surface an ordinary married man and father who in fact, has killed his children, wife and parents. The film is based on a true story, of a man who killed his whole family in 1993.
The strength of the film is in the performance by Daniel Auteuil, veteran of a wide range of French films, probably one of France’s leading actors, as in Jean de Floret, Manon des Sources, The Placard, Thirty- Six, A Heart in Winter. He is strongly supported by French character actors including Immanuel Devos.
The film is a psychological study, the building up of atmosphere, the revelation of a lethal killer in a quiet ordinary man.
The film was directed by Nicole Garcia, a veteran French actress since the late 1960s who also directed six feature films including Plas Vendome with Catherine Deneuve and the interesting portrait of a French town and its tensions in, Salon Charlie.
1. An interesting film? Entertaining? A case study? A serious French portrait? An objective look at situations and characters? A stylish drama with a strong cast?
2. The film based on a true story? The credibility of character and plot? People being deceived by the killer?
3. Geneva, the Swiss settings, the French settings? The city, homes, forests? An ordinary world, the world of high flyers? A context for the character of Jean-Marc? Faure?
4. The structure of the film: the end, the date, Jean- Marc and the aftermath, the video and intentions? The interspersing of Jean- Marc and his activities? Luc, Marianne and their questions?
5. The portrait of Jean- Marc, Daniel Auteuil and his screen presence, skills? His parents and their simplicity, the studies, his not passing the exams, Luc and the friendship, Christine and the relationship, on and off, the marriage? Declarations of love? The domestic scenes? Ordinary and nice, the children, the gentleness? The perfect life and explanations?
6. The truth, a lack of job, driving, inventing, presumptions, money and his parents, pretending to have connections, the trips, the confessions and his sleep? The language – and the credits?
7. The character of Christine, nice, her relationship to Jean- Marc, to the children? To Luc? Work, medical, friends? The Catholic atmosphere, school? The issues at school? Luc’s advice about her health? The truth, the truth about school?
8. Christine’s father, demands, management, the death? The in-laws at the meals?
9. Marianne, Luc and Christine, the influence? The divorce?
10. Luc and Marianne, the dinner, the gifts, declarations of love? Her caution? The visits, discretion, the night? Remy and the dentist? The boring Doctor Bocak? Issues of money, the car trip?
11. The increase of lies, Jean- Marc being found out, his mother, Christine?
12. Christmas, the questions, the tape?
13. The lethal character of Jean- Marc, breaking through the surface, his parents, Marianne and her visit? The calm? The behaviour of the sociopath? Burning the house? Saved?
14. The magistrate, the deposition? The focus on the countryside in which these kind of events could have occurred?
Created by: malonelast modification: Tuesday 21 of April, 2015 [00:21:31 UTC] by