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The Big Picture [Blu-ray]

14 customer reviews

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(Mar 19, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Paul Exben (Romain Duris, Russian Dolls, Paris) is a handsome and successful Parisian lawyer with a beautiful wife, two children, and a glimmering future in the firm he co-owns with his mentor, Anne (Catherine Deneuve). But behind this deceptively perfect façade lies a restless spirit who s uncomfortable in his conformist life and envies the freedom of his neighbor Greg, an uncompromising photojournalist. After Greg s unexpected death throws his life into chaos, Paul embarks on a cross-continent odyssey of self-discovery and reinvention, leading him to uncover the answer to the question: is it possible to become someone else?

With Hitchcockian precision and echoes of Patricia Highsmith s Tom Ripley, director Eric Lartigau (The Players, I Do) explores the themes of identity and creativity through one man s gripping journey from Paris and Brittany to Montenegro and points beyond, crafting a suspenseful thriller about the dangers that persist even after one engineers the ultimate fresh start.


It moves, with supple muscularity, toward a twisty and satisfying conclusion. --Michael O Sullivan, Washington Post

Duris is excellent, his hair and eyes growing wilder with each step of the journey, and he has solid support ... --Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Lartigau creates the tension of a Hitchcockian thriller --Chris Packman, Village Voice

Product Details

  • Actors: Romain Duris, Marina Fois, Niels Arestrup, Branka Katic, Catherine Deneuve
  • Directors: Eric Lartigau
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,327 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Edward L Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 19, 2013
Format: DVD
We've all experienced the desire to disappear. For whatever reason, we've entertained the idea of simply pulling up our stakes, packing it in, and vanishing from the face of the Earth or, more likely, those we know so well. No, that doesn't mean that we don't love them; nor does it even possibly imply we've done anything wrong. Life wears us down, and, occasionally, we long for escape. This reality only underscores the very human desire to sometimes merely assume a completely anonymous existence - one devoid of greater meaning or purpose - all with the hope of `fitting in' brand new.

However, if we had a legitimate reason to withdraw from the society of which we're a participant, there's certain a `right way' and a `wrong way' to go about it. What's chiefly on display in THE BIG PICTURE is a life lesson about the lesser risks and greater dangers of doing it without adequate preparation.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and character. If you're the kind of person who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Paul Exben (played convincingly by Romain Duris) is a successful Parisian lawyer who's "living the dream" (or so he thought); his wife Sarah (Marina Foïs) and their two children have only started to wear on his real-world sensibilities, and his boss Anne (the lovely Catherine Deneuve, in too short an appearance) is about to retire from the business for medical reasons that would leave him completely in charge of the firm. However, Paul senses something isn't quite right at home.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 31, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Paul Exben (Roman Duris) has it all, a lovely wife, great job, bags of cash, great home and yet he seems a bit insecure. Catherine Deneuve plays his boss Anne, she has a terminal illness and is about to leave her controlling share in the company to him. So he is about to gain even more albeit with the loss of a caring friend.

He loves his two children and put on acts of capriciousness to endear him to them, which seems to have the opposite effect on his wife. Then he starts to notice subtle changes in his wife's behaviour; Sarah (Maria Fois) seems to be on a short fuse when ever he is around and more relaxed around a certain other man. This man is a jobbing photographer Gregoire; Paul is a rich amateur who had once held ambitions of being a good photographer himself once upon a time.

Then her sudden new taste for New Zealand `Cloudy Bay' and long lunch engagement gets him more suspicious. Things come to a head at a dinner party where one sauvignon blanc too many leads him to act the oaf. The following day spur of the moment decision start a series of events that even `The A Team' would be hard pushed to put right.

This is a well crafted drama with an under lying current of tension that lends more to a thriller than a life tale. The ever presence of photography runs through out and acts like a thread tying all the disparate parts of the story together.

It is beautifully shot too, with some almost iconic shots and great use of scenery and space. The acting is all well above average and Roman Duris does a particularly good performance. Director Eric Lartigan has made a beautifully filmed, challengingly framed and original piece of cinema. Some may find the plot a bit of a stretch, but it is dealing with a situation that few people would ever find them selves in and I found it very entertaining.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
Truthfully, I would watch Romain Duris in just about anything. When you add the great Catherine Deneuve and promise me a twisty thriller, I'm in absolute heaven. Once again, though, I've been fooled by the marketing of the French film "The Big Picture." The movie certainly employs elements that might effectively be utilized in a thriller, but suspense is not the primary aim of the film's screenplay. The critical blurbs reference both Patricia Highsmith (for obvious reasons that I won't discuss in any depth) and Alfred Hitchcock, and perhaps the first half of the movie steers you in that direction. But the principle themes developed in the more languid second half (a huge stretch of the movie is virtually wordless) are more in line with an introspective character study. When situations force Duris to embrace a new path in life, he comes to understand just what was lacking in the past. It's an interesting notion, handled quite well.

Duris plays a successful lawyer with a seemingly perfect life. He has wealth, high profile clients, a business partner who wants to put him in charge, two cute kids, and a supportive wife. To all appearances, he is living the dream. But the veneer of normalcy and happiness starts to crumble when he becomes suspicious that his wife is discontent. Even as he struggles to rebuild intimacy, he doesn't want to face the evidence in front of him. When unexpected tragedy strikes, however, he is thrust headfirst into a nightmare from which there may be no escape. But a careful plan sets him on a new course. And in the least likely way, he will begin to understand just what is important in life and learn to become the man he was meant to be. But his grasp on this new realization is tenuous as well. Can he hold on? And should he?
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The Big Picture [Blu-ray]
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