Movie review: French thriller 'Big Picture' draws viewers in

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The French thriller "The Big Picture" takes some daring, and sometimes foolhardy, turns in its tale of a man whose life changes in an instant.

Paul Exben (Romain Duris) seems to have it all: He's a successful lawyer whose boss (Catherine Deneuve) is about to make him the head of the firm, and he has a nice suburban house with his wife, Sarah (Marina Foïs), and their two kids. It all comes crashing down when Sarah demands a divorce and Paul learns she's been having an affair with a neighbor, a hunky globe-trotting photographer, Greg Kremer (Eric Ruf).

A fateful encounter with Greg, and Paul knows his old life is forever shattered — so he devises a plot to take over Greg's identity for a photo assignment in Montenegro (part of what used to be Yugoslavia).

Director Eric Lartigau, adapting American author Douglas Kennedy's novel, keeps the tension building as Paul tries to leave behind his past and warily assume another person's life. Duris' gaze is compelling as he flits about in constant improvisation of Paul's makeshift new life.; —


'The Big Picture'

Opens Friday, Nov. 2, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably R for sexuality, some violence and language; in French with subtitles; 115 minutes.