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Guardian angel

In Secret: “Yessir, once we’re married, then our forbidden love will really start to flourish.”
In Secret: “Yessir, once we’re married, then our forbidden love will really start to flourish.”

Just in time for your post-Valentine’s low, In Secret serves up a murky bowl of curdled desire, soured by a generous dollop of good old-fashioned guilt.

No, wait — come back! It’s good, honest! It’s the kind of morality tale that works because the morality comes from inside: inside the characters, inside their intimate relationships, inside the world they happen to inhabit.

It’s a tough, dimly lit, 19th-century France sort of world, one in which a man drops off his young daughter Therese with his sister and never returns, leaving her to serve as the “guardian angel” for her sickly cousin. His coughs and sweats haunt her nighttime hours because, you see, they share a bed. And when the deadbeat Daddy dies a decade or so later, Aunt Mom hits upon a brilliant plan: the cousins can share a bed again, this time as husband and wife. The guardian angel can keep eternal watch, and besides, the arrangement makes it easier to keep the inheritance in the family. After all, hasn’t she raised the child as her own? Isn’t she deserving? Still, small wonder that our heroine finds herself tempted to stray — and worse.

Movie

In Secret (Therese) ***

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A morality tale of curdled love and corrosive guilt that works, because the morality arises from within - within the characters, within their dealings with each other, within the dim, desperate world they inhabit. Everyone comes in for a measure of sympathy (though sometimes, it's measured out with a heavy hand), and that's what makes the ultimate verdict so painful. Young Therese is dropped off at her aunt's in 19th-century France by her a ne'er-do-well father, and finds herself cast in the role of "guardian angel" to her sickly cousin Camille — even to the point of sharing his bed. When she grows up and Dad dies, Aunt Mom gets the brilliant idea of having the cousins share the bed again, this time as husband and wife — it keeps everyone (and their money) so close. Small wonder she has thoughts of straying — and worse. ("Everything is lust and murder," intones a pudgy inspector over Thursday-night dominoes.) The men (Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton) do good work here, but the great struggle is between Jessica Lange and Elizabeth Olsen as mother and daughter-in-law, as sun and moon, fierce energy and reflected, mournful beauty.

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That’s how the film works: everyone comes in for a measure of sympathy. The hand that tugs the heartstring gets a bit heavy at various points in the script, but the casting covers a multitude of sins: the four principals are all excellent. Oscar Isaac smolders and pouts as the raffish artist Laurent, and Tom Felton lends pathetic humanity to Camille, the doomed husband. Even so, they are merely terrestrial bodies operating by the light of the sun (Jessica Lange as Madame Raquin) and moon (Elizabeth Olsen as Therese). The image fits: Lange’s proud face is as fierce as any old-time illustration of the radiant star, while Olsen’s smoothly rounded visage is forever glowing with reflected light. Theirs is the great struggle of In Secret: two wounded and desperate women, bound together till death to them part.

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In Secret: “Yessir, once we’re married, then our forbidden love will really start to flourish.”
In Secret: “Yessir, once we’re married, then our forbidden love will really start to flourish.”

Just in time for your post-Valentine’s low, In Secret serves up a murky bowl of curdled desire, soured by a generous dollop of good old-fashioned guilt.

No, wait — come back! It’s good, honest! It’s the kind of morality tale that works because the morality comes from inside: inside the characters, inside their intimate relationships, inside the world they happen to inhabit.

It’s a tough, dimly lit, 19th-century France sort of world, one in which a man drops off his young daughter Therese with his sister and never returns, leaving her to serve as the “guardian angel” for her sickly cousin. His coughs and sweats haunt her nighttime hours because, you see, they share a bed. And when the deadbeat Daddy dies a decade or so later, Aunt Mom hits upon a brilliant plan: the cousins can share a bed again, this time as husband and wife. The guardian angel can keep eternal watch, and besides, the arrangement makes it easier to keep the inheritance in the family. After all, hasn’t she raised the child as her own? Isn’t she deserving? Still, small wonder that our heroine finds herself tempted to stray — and worse.

Movie

In Secret (Therese) ***

thumbnail

A morality tale of curdled love and corrosive guilt that works, because the morality arises from within - within the characters, within their dealings with each other, within the dim, desperate world they inhabit. Everyone comes in for a measure of sympathy (though sometimes, it's measured out with a heavy hand), and that's what makes the ultimate verdict so painful. Young Therese is dropped off at her aunt's in 19th-century France by her a ne'er-do-well father, and finds herself cast in the role of "guardian angel" to her sickly cousin Camille — even to the point of sharing his bed. When she grows up and Dad dies, Aunt Mom gets the brilliant idea of having the cousins share the bed again, this time as husband and wife — it keeps everyone (and their money) so close. Small wonder she has thoughts of straying — and worse. ("Everything is lust and murder," intones a pudgy inspector over Thursday-night dominoes.) The men (Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton) do good work here, but the great struggle is between Jessica Lange and Elizabeth Olsen as mother and daughter-in-law, as sun and moon, fierce energy and reflected, mournful beauty.

Find showtimes

That’s how the film works: everyone comes in for a measure of sympathy. The hand that tugs the heartstring gets a bit heavy at various points in the script, but the casting covers a multitude of sins: the four principals are all excellent. Oscar Isaac smolders and pouts as the raffish artist Laurent, and Tom Felton lends pathetic humanity to Camille, the doomed husband. Even so, they are merely terrestrial bodies operating by the light of the sun (Jessica Lange as Madame Raquin) and moon (Elizabeth Olsen as Therese). The image fits: Lange’s proud face is as fierce as any old-time illustration of the radiant star, while Olsen’s smoothly rounded visage is forever glowing with reflected light. Theirs is the great struggle of In Secret: two wounded and desperate women, bound together till death to them part.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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