Go into a bookshop in France, and you get the impression that a lot of novels and thrillers are read in translation, and, not surprisingly, many are American. It’s not surprising either that French film-makers adapt the books’ plots into scripts for shooting in local settings, an example being Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne, 2006) which was based on Harlan Coben’s thriller (title as the English film).
Eric Lartigau’s L'homme qui voulait vivre sa vie has now appeared in the UK as The Big Picture, the title of Douglas Kennedy’s US thriller, and the source of the story, with the action moved from Manhattan and Montana to Paris, Brittany and Montenegro. Romain Duris’ intense acting style and the camerawork grip enough to suspend incredulity over successive aspects of the plot right up to the ending. The film also provides the second appearance of Catherine Deneuve this summer on British screens, and a useful tip on how to get a man’s body into a deep freeze.