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After a terrible car wreck in which he lay helpless under the body of his mother for hours, 11-year-old François is living with his grandparents. When his grandfather's mistress (Jacqueline Bisset) comes to pay them a visit, she and François find a great deal in common. Written by
A wisp of a story centering on a young boy's infatuation...
If beautiful photography and lovely views of rural France were enough to sustain a slight story, SECRET WORLD (U.S. title) would be worth recommending. JACQUELINE BISSET is at her most photogenic as the mistress of a British gentleman (PIERRE ZIMMER) who is also attractive to the man's son (MARC POREL) and a young boy who has lost his parents in a tragic car accident (JEAN-FRANCOIS MAURIN).
The story has the young, highly impressionable young boy mooning after the beautiful young woman and jealous of anyone else who pays her attention, particularly Olivier (MARC POREL) who is obviously in love with his father's mistress but finds himself rejected by her on more than one occasion.
There's an enigmatic quality to the story and the way certain scenes are played, even an erotic moment--a love scene in the woman's boudoir where we don't see whether it's father or son acting as lover.
Bisset is lovely but poker-faced throughout, as though she feels that giving that face to the camera is all that's required. Most intriguing performance comes from MARC POREL as the reckless, adventuresome young son who admits to his father that he loves the woman.
The boy is sensitive enough in a role that requires that quality in spades, but with him too it's largely a matter of looking photogenic for all his huge camera close-ups.
The pretty photography is the film's chief asset, but it's all rather forgettable as a story of uneasy relationships under the same roof.
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