"Immaculate" is far from the immaculately conceived movie the master of suspense would've delivered.

Despite a promising pitch torn straight from the Hitchcock playbook, Franco-Belgian thriller “Immaculate” is far from the immaculately conceived movie that the master of suspense would have delivered. Far too respectful of the genre’s conventions to do anything challenging with them, this directorial debut by vet scribe Gregoire Vigneron (“Le petit Nicolas”) quickly becomes a paint-by-numbers tale of greed, betrayal and seduction that’s only marginally saved by first-rate acting and production values. Following a modest Gallic release, pic should clean up in Francophone ancillary.

Cocksure exec Etienne (Benoit Magimel) seems to have it all: He’ll soon become CEO of a powerful multinational, his trophy wife (Julie Gayet) excels at shopping, and his apartment belongs in Architectural Digest. But when he meets an old pal (Francois-Xavier Demaison), and the two decide to confront the one man who may block Etienne’s ascension … well, surprise: Things don’t go as planned. A little more humor and a lot more intelligent maneuvering from the characters might have helped pic avoid the cackles that accompanied a recent Paris screening. Tech package and perfs — especially from Demaison as a five-time loser — are otherwise on the money.

Immaculate

France-Belgium

Production

A Mars Distribution (in France) release of a Fidelite Films (France)/Scope Pictures (Belgium) production, in association with Wild Bunch, Mars Films, Banque Postale Image 2, Cinemage 4, Banque Populaire Image 2, Fortis Film Fund, with participation of Orange Cinema Series, La Region Wallonne. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier. Executive producer, Christine de Jekel. Directed by Gregoire Vigneron. Screenplay, Vigneron, Laurent Tirard.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Laurent Dailland; editor, Valerie Deseine; music, Christophe La Pinta; production designer, Bertrand Seitz; costume designers, Florence Scholtes, Christophe Pidre. Reviewed at UGC Cine Cite Les Halles 7, Paris, March 17, 2010. (In Hong Kong Filmart.) Original title: Sans laisser de traces. French dialogue. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Benoit Magimel, Francois-Xavier Demaison, Julie Gayet, Lea Seydoux, Jean-Marie Winling, Dominique Labourier, Andre Wilms, Stephane de Groodt.
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