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The Color of Lies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Color of Lies
The Color of Lies.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byClaude Chabrol
Screenplay byClaude Chabrol
Odile Barski
Produced byMarin Karmitz
StarringSandrine Bonnaire
Jacques Gamblin
CinematographyEduardo Serra
Edited byMonique Fardoulis
Music byMatthieu Chabrol
Canal Diffusion
France 2 Cinéma
MK2 Productions
Distributed byMK2 Diffusion
Release date
  • 13 January 1999 (1999-01-13)
Running time
111 minutes
Box office$111,143 (USA)

The Color of Lies (French: Au cœur du mensonge) is a 1999 psychological mystery film co-written and directed by Claude Chabrol. The film was entered into the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]


In a small town in Brittany, a 10-year-old girl is found murdered. The last person known to see her alive was her art teacher and professional artist, René (Gamblin). He becomes the primary suspect in the investigation by the new chief of police , Frédérique Lesage (Bruni-Tedeschi). The investigation destroys his life as the townspeople believe that he is the killer, despite the lack of hard evidence. René is dedicated to his wife (Bonnaire), a nurse whose perpetual happy mood is the polar opposite of his dour personality. Meanwhile, Frederique becomes better acquainted with the eccentric residents of the town, including an arrogant television journalist, (de Caunes), a small-time crook who fences stolen goods (Marlot), and a bizarre pair of married shopkeepers (Ogier and Simsolo).

Principal cast

Actor Role
Sandrine Bonnaire Vivianne Sterne
Jacques Gamblin René Sterne
Antoine de Caunes Germain-Roland Desmot
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi Frédérique Lesage
Bernard Verley Inspector Loudun
Bulle Ogier Évelyne Bordier
Pierre Martot Regis Marchal
Adrienne Pauly Anna
Thomas Chabrol The medical examiner

Critical reception

The film received favorable reviews.


“A delicious sense of suspense haunts Claude Chabrol's latest character-study-cum-whodunit... which ranks just behind the excellent “La ceremonie” among the veteran helmer’s work this decade."[2]

Michael Thomson of BBC Films:

Director Claude Chabrol, one of the most successful members of the French New Wave, is still (after a hugely busy career) able to breathe life into suspense with subtlety, irony, and humour... Chabrol, forever asking us to spot detail, ensures that every one counts. A work of superior acting and quiet strength.[3]

Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice:

A superb sociological mystery, The Color of Lies (1999) examines what happens to a small Breton village when a schoolgirl's raped body is discovered in the woods... In his surest Simenonian mode, Chabrol balances the hidden, the exposed, and the philosophical with little fuss, and the characters are all drawn with a scalpel.[4]

Christopher Null of gave the film a good review but had only one issue of contention:

Claude Chabrol's late-career films haven't been entirely inspired, but The Color of Lies is one of the standouts... The sole lacking spot here is the dead fish of a police detective (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), who's ostensibly the hero of the film yet comes off as incompetent and bumbling at best. In fact, better casting all around could have elevated this film to a minor classic.[5]


  1. ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Programme". Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  2. ^ Lisa Nesselson (1999-01-15). "The Color of Lies". Variety. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  3. ^ Michael Thomson Updated 16 July 2001 (2001-07-16). "Films - review - The Colour of Lies (Au Coeur du Mensonge)". BBC. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  4. ^ Michael Atkinson (2005-08-02). "Crime Scene Investigations From an Aging New Waver - Page 1 - Screens - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  5. ^ "The Color of Lies - Movie Review". Retrieved 2011-08-18.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 January 2020, at 07:15
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