Romain Duris is superb. He carries this intelligent French thriller about a Parisian lawyer with the seemingly perfect life who kills his wife's lover and then assumes his identity as a photographer in Montenegro, finding his true self but never quite able to escape his former life, principally due to the talent he displays in his new-found profession.
Catherine Deneuve makes a fleeting appearance as the dying boss that Duris leaves behind in Paris, and it is the characters in Montenegro that are more real and fascinating than their seemingly superficial counterparts. Duris's main struggle in the first half of the film is how he can leave his children behind: his struggle in the second concerns the attempt to find himself. It's not your average mid-life crisis.
The film is paced beautifully: not as abrupt or violent as 'Taken' or 'Mesrine', and actually sits in a different class to either, being less thriller and more arthouse, which the film benefits from. I caught this in London after having just seen 'Tree of Life' and the advantage this film has over Malik's masterpiece is that the story, a linear one, is of more general appeal, but it shares the same sensitivity to cinematographical expanse, beauty of shot and a slower pace reminiscent of movies in days gone by. It never drags, and I was hooked from the first few moments of the film, principally because of Duris's performance. It may, dare I say it, even be worthy of a nod at the Oscars, and this has got to be in with a shout at best foreign film.
Four stars, as the ending didn't quite satisfy me, but the whole experience did. Well worth a spin.