Year: 2002
USA: Magnolia Films
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Ornella Muti, François Morel, Valerie Mairesse, Bernard Mazzinghi, Dominique Blanc, Gilbert Melki, Catherine Frot, Lucas Belvaux, Raphaële Godin, Patrick Depeyra, Pierre Gerard, Jean-Baptiste Montagut, Vincent Colombe, Anne Delol, Joss Philopemon, Vincent Gardinier, Eric Vassard, Zirek, Thomas Badek
Director: Lucas Belvaux
Countries: France / Belgium
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 97 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains mild language, violence, sex and drug references
USA Release Date: 6 February 2004 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 28 November 2003


THE TRILOGY - Introduction

Let's envisage our respective lives as films.

Each of us is the main character, surrounded by people more or less close to us who are themselves the main characters of their lives and for whom we play more or less secondary roles. If we are the starting point, the centre of the world or of the film, by concentric circles (those closest to us, close friends, friends, acquaintances, and so on) we reach the ring of people we only encounter once in a lifetime, of whom we know nothing and who know nothing about us because in their lives (their film) we are only extras.

The three films work on this principle of cross encounters. The main characters in one film have minor roles in the others and vice versa.

Three films, three genres, three genre films

The films form a whole but can be seen independently. Although they share sets, scenes and characters, they are "genetically" different. The first is a thriller, the second in comedy and the third a melodrama.

Fear, laughter, and tears. They are genre films.

- Lucas Belvaux


Cecile (Ornella Muti) and Alain (François Morel) have been living together for twenty years. Alain runs a small hi-tech engineering company in Grenoble which is doing well, extremely well, and although she has no need to work, Cecile continues to teach at the local high school. They are a wonderful, indestructible model couple, to the great chagrin of their doctor friend, Georges (Bernard Mazzinghi) , who is insensitive to Cecile's charms. Cecile has always been anxious by nature, but this time her suspicions are well founded. Alain is hiding something from her.

He's right not to tell her what's worrying him because she could be seriously concerned. Alain thinks he's going to die. In a few days, he's going under Georges' knife for some investigative surgery. Alain doesn't want to conceal the truth from Ceclie, hard though it may be, but at the same time he doesn't want to worry her if the problem turns out to be benign. So he tells her white lies!

Ceclie knows only one thing: Alain is lying to her, and if he's lying it means the problem is very, very serious indeed. She doesn't know what he's lying about. It could be a mistress. But if he's thinking of leaving her, that would be serious! Maybe he's got problems at work? Or a lawsuit concerning at patent. It happened once before. Are they in danger, once again, of losing everything? She wants to know.

She asks Pascal (Gilbert Melki), the husband of her friend Agnes (Dominique Blanc) for help. She asks him because he's a cop. Pascal's investigations reveal nothing, which doesn't help him emotionally because, little by little, he too has fallen under the spell of the lovely Cecile. He would have preferred Alain to be leading a double life, but that doesn't matter. He'll dig something up, and if he doesn't he'll invent something.

But it seems there's no need because Alain isn't stupid. He's also noticed that his wife is concealing something from him: that she's been meeting a man, in secret. A man who follows her around. He's afraid his wife has taken a lover, someone who's after his patents, and that she's an accomplice.

His wife doesn't have a lover, he isn't seriously ill, and no one has designs on his patents. But it's too late. The plotting has begun.