Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
Place Vendôme (1998)

The suicide of her husband and the discovery of massive debts in his prestigious jewellery firm jolt Marianne (Deneuve) from her alcoholic haze back into cruel reality. We join her as she emerges from her ignorance, to discover a world of deception that brought her husband down, and now threatens to do the same to her, in this subtle, classy thriller.

Marianne's discovery of several high value diamonds stashed away by her husband seem to offer her a route to buy her way out of trouble, but she has to negotiate her way through the murky world of diamond trading that killed her partner. This is not a trade where fast car chases and shootouts are the weapons of influence, and Deneuve's journey through the jeweller hangouts of Paris, London, and Amsterdam is at a carefully measured pace.

There is a distinct lack of action as thrillers go, but underneath the calm sophisticated veneer of this movie lies understated menace, and claustrophobic settings of the type that would drive a man to suicide. Deneuve holds her composure well in an elegant performance that beautifully captures a woman who must rediscover old instincts, rubbed away by years of alcoholic stupor.

The twists in this thriller come from relationships of Deneuve's past intertwining with her few allies of the present, which include the younger Emmanuelle Seigner, who is clearly heading for a life like Deneuve's if she can't save her. Jewel thieves, cartels and lawyers seep out of the woodwork threatening to engulf Deneuve, and before you know it, you're watching a tense thriller that absorbs you into a wonderfully sinister underworld.

End Credits

Director: Nicole Garcia

Writer: Nicole Garcia, Jacques Fieschi

Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Seigner, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jacques Dutronc

Genre: Thriller, World Cinema

Length: 113 minutes

Cinema: 1998

Country: France

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