Re:View – ‘Sans Laissez De Traces’

The Arts

Such is the terrible state of Hollywood now that it’s virtually impossible to find a mainstream film aimed at sophisticated adults. On the rare occasions that the studios decide to make something without talking dogs, superheroes or fart jokes, they turn preachy and sentimental. If only they faithfully filmed some of the USA’s excellent crime novels, they could change this. American authors write some of the best thrillers in the world.

Consequently, whenever I’m in France I try to go to the movies or visit a FNAC store, and see something that’s both fresh and popular. I picked this one purely from the poster, and it’s a winner. Called ‘Immaculate’ overseas (why? The title means ‘Without Leaving Traces’), it tells the story of Etienne, an executive who married the boss’s beautiful daughter and now has everything. He’s handling a lot of stress and about to take over the company when he bumps into an old schoolfriend, Pascal, who says he’s setting up an eco-firm.

This makes Etienne feel ashamed, because he has a secret. Some years back he was approached by a product developer and took his idea, which made him rich. He wishes he’d told the guy and given him his share of the profit. So Pascal drunkenly suggests they go to the guy’s house and make amends that very night.

Big mistake. The result is an escalating nightmare involving murder, blackmail, seduction and betrayal, as Etienne proves he’s really not good under pressure, and starts lying his way out of traps, heading for a perfect storm of a meltdown. Each decision he makes had me questioning what I would do in the same circumstances and shouting ‘Noooo!’ at the screen. Cleverly, the poster shows a key moment from the film without giving anything away. Watch out for this if you liked ‘Tell No-One’. You can buy the film on with English subtitles.

2 comments on “Re:View – ‘Sans Laissez De Traces’”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    “Leave No Trace” would have worked but there’s a desire for single word titles these days.

  2. Jane of the Waking Universe says:

    This film sounds very intriguing. Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge of cinema once again.
    On a more depressing note, it looks like Hollywood already has its mitts on “Tell No One.” According to IMDB, it’s due for release in 2012. Sigh.

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