Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 89 minutes

Stranger Says:

After escaping from a sanatorium, a bereaved Swiss woman (Emmanuelle Devos) resumes her search for those responsible for an unsolved family tragedy. (The title refers to a particular shade of car paint.) When the trail leads her to a seemingly mundane couple residing on the gorgeous shores of Lake Geneva, the slow burn begins. Director Frédéric Mermoud’s splendidly modulated cat-and-mouse story keeps upping the psychological stakes, aided by Devos’s tremulously feral central performance. Both gratifyingly dark and unexpectedly moving, with a last shot that hits like a ton of bricks. Patricia Highsmith would approve, which says it all, really. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

SIFF Says:

Along the shores of Lake Geneva, a fire is raging. Diane (Emmanuelle Devos, Coco Before Chanel) is grieving, her son the victim of a fatal hit-and-run accident seven months prior. With the police no closer to identifying a suspect and her marriage in shambles, Diane enlists the help of a private detective, who tracks down the make and model of the car―a mocha-colored SL 1972 Mercedes―that permanently altered her family’s life. Diane travels across the Swiss-French border with a list of owners of this rare automobile, finally settling on Marlène (Nathalie Baye, Day for Night) and Michel (David Clavel), a well-to-do Évian couple who fit the sole witness’ description perfectly. With her prey in sight, a pistol in hand, and revenge her sole remaining instinct, Diane carefully, methodically invades the couple’s seemingly comfortable life, waiting for the right moment to strike. Devos and Baye, two renowned veterans of French cinema, share the screen for the first time, going toe-to-toe in this slow-burning psychological thriller of obsession, paranoia, and unbreakable maternal instinct, based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay and handled with Highsmith/Hitchcockian panache by Swiss director Frédéric Mermoud (Les Revenants).

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Film Credits
Frédéric Mermoud
Emmanuelle Devos, Nathalie Baye, Diane Rouxel, Samuel Labarthe, David Clavel
SIFF 2017