In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he’s told, only to be attacked by the convict’s partner. A murder ensues, and through happenstance, the murderer and the boy’s mother form an alliance. All this takes place in four days during which the boy has his first communion, his separated parents face each other amidst grandmother’s hopes they’ll reunite, the grandfather just wants to go fishing, the school’s chaplain complains about the boy’s behavior, and the convicts’ shared girlfriend comes, gun in hand, to help them escape to Tangier. The mother’s surprising decisions complete the story.
User Reviews: The title might lead viewers to expect an elegant parlor room whodunit, but this elegant French import is something else entirely: part thriller, part domestic melodrama, and in large part a story of the end of innocence for a troubled young boy on the threshold of adulthood, who stumbles on the hideout of an escaped convict. Under threat of death the boy is sworn to silence, but the real trouble begins after his divorced mother learns the secret and becomes fatally attracted to the fugitive. The story unfolds with rare narrative subtlety, expressed in unspoken thoughts and barely repressed emotions. Too bad the plot is then allowed to collapse in the final act, with all the conflicting elements forced together in a rushed climax, followed by a long, inconclusive fade-out meant to appear ambiguous but looking more like the end result of writer’s block. The weak resolution partially mars an otherwise attractive and well-acted drama, handsomely photographed in a glorious corner of French countryside at the end of a long, dry summer.