“Tell No One” comes complete with normal lesbian characters

You know you’ve been to a really great foreign film if you find yourself forgetting it was subtitled. That’s how I felt when I read about the DVD release of last summer’s Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne).

In some ways, Tell No One feels very French. Nothing is the way it seems, which I love. In other ways, it feels like a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, full of quirky characters and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Alex, a pediatrician (François Cluzet), is happily married to his childhood sweetheart, Margot (Marie-Josée Croze).

When Margot is murdered, Alex is the main suspect for a while — then is cleared. But eight years later, he receives what appears to be proof that Margot is still alive. Here’s the trailer.

 

I don’t want to say much more about the plot because the twists and turns are the best part of this movie. You do need to know this, however: Kristin Scott Thomas plays a lesbian, Hélène. (And yes, that was her getting out of the shower.)

The good news is that the only reason we know she’s a lesbian is because her partner is Alex’s sister Anne (Marina Hands). Hélène is Alex’s best friend and the only person he talks to, so she helps him try to find out the truth about Margot.

Hélène and Anne have been together a while and have their share of issues, but are treated no differently than a typical heterosexual couple. Sexual orientation is a non-issue. (And no, neither of them is a psychotic killer.)

Tell No One is so well done that I have no doubt we’ll see an American remake. (“Don’t Tell Anybody,” maybe?) If Alex’s best friend is a lesbian in Hollywood’s version, something stereotypical will be added: She’ll be pregnant or paranoid or sleeping with a man on the side.

See the original instead — it’s due for release today. The DVD has an English track, in case you just hate subtitles. But I promise, once you get into this movie, you won’t even notice.

Have you seen Tell No One? Do you recommend it?

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