Dir. by Sebastien Manier | 2022 | France |125 Mins | CTC
Official Selection at:
The French Film Festival Aotearoa NZ 2023 May 25- July 5
In this wickedly funny French thriller, shady relatives scheme for family fortunes through a succession of ingenious twists.
Stéphane’s volatile lover is halfway through her prison sentence while she’s stuck working in a fish cannery. One day Stéphane boldly decides to reach out to her wealthy, estranged father. Stéphane discovers the dysfunctional family around him to be a vipers’ nest, all angling for the old man’s inheritance and suspicious of the new interloper. Soon enough, she finds herself embroiled in devious hidden agendas
during a ruthless fight for the family empire in a luxury seaside French villa.
Who’s the predator and who’s the prey?
Family fortunes and squabbling relatives form a sturdy foundation for a twisty, sometimes florid thriller in The Origin Of Evil. The third feature from Sebastien Marnier, feels like an homage to Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley, featuring a slippery central character adept at deception and reinvention.
[Director] Marnier channels the spirit of Claude Chabrol’s withering knock-downs of the bourgeoisie, layered with the plot curves of a Hitchcockian riddle.
Propelled by revelations, twists and a seasoning of sly humour.. It quickly becomes apparent that nothing is quite as it seems in this jaunty romp.
[Sebastien] Marnier’s film manages to be cruelly funny, while evoking the spirit of that master of the French thriller Claude Chabrol, with hints of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell. It offered a touch of class as a first-day festival highlight [Venice Film Fest].
-The Observer | Venice Film Festival-