This thriller from veteran director Claude Chabrol is a tense suspense drama, leavened with sly humor, about the fallout from a shocking crime in a small town. Frederique Lesage (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), the new chief of police in a cozy and fashionable seaside community in Brittany, soon finds her job more eventful than she expected when a ten-year-old girl is found raped and murdered. The last person to see her alive was René Sterne (Jacques Gamblin), a cynical and once-famous artist who has fallen on hard times and gives drawing lessons to children to make ends meet. René, who is passionately devoted to his wife (Sandrine Bonnaire), a nurse whose perpetual good cheer is the polar opposite of his personality, quickly becomes the prime suspect in the absence of any real clues. Meanwhile, Frederique becomes better acquainted with the eccentric residents of the town, including a self-important TV journalist (Antoine de Caunes), a small-time crook who fences stolen goods (Pierre Marlot), and a curious pair of married shopkeepers (Bulle Ogier and Noel Simsolo). Chabrol's son Matthieu Chabrol composed the score for this film.
by Mark Deming synopsis