Death In A French Garden Review

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A rich man and his (much younger) wife hire a guitar teacher for their daughter. He is seduced by the wife; befriends a stranger who admits to being a hitman, and comes to suspect the couple's neighbour of spying on him. But when the husband finds out about the affair, and tapes of his activies appear in the post, things begin to get really complicated.


Trespassing on Chabrol territory with his assault on bourgeois morality, Michel Deville deftly establishes the simmering story involving a guitar teacher (Christophe Malavoy), his teenage pupil (Anais Jeanneret) and her parents (Nicole Garcia and Michel Piccoli).

Add a voyeuristic neighbour (Anemone) and a genial hit man (Richard Bohringer), and you have a thriller that's only spoiled by its conventional ending. The love scenes ooze sensuality, as you might expect from a French thriller, but this isn't really an erotic thriller per se. With many virtually silent scenes and a myriad of significant glances and glares, it's what lies between the lines, rather than between the sheets, that matters here.

Although it's based on a novel by René Belletto, this is a wholly cinematic experience, made all the more so by Martial Thury's roving camerawork and the frequent occurrence of camcorders and photographs.