Secret Things

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Secret Things
Choses secrets cover.jpg
Directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
Produced by Jean Francois Geneix
Written by Jean-Claude Brisseau
Starring Coralie Revel
Sabrina Seyvecou
Roger Mirmont
Fabrice Deville
Music by Xavier Pirouselle
Cinematography Wilfrid Sempe
Edited by Maria-Louis Garcia
Distributed by Tartan Films
Release dates
Running time
115 minutes
Country France
Language French

Secret Things (French: Choses secrètes) is a 2002 French film directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau, starring Coralie Revel and Sabrina Seyvecou.[1] The film is sometimes associated with the New French Extremity. Cahiers du Cinema named Secret Things, jointly along with Ten by director Abbas Kiarostami, as the best film of 2002.[2] The film was awarded the 'French Cineaste of the Year' title at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, the director Jean-Claude Brisseau was found guilty of sexually harassing two actresses between 1999 and 2001 during auditions for the film.[3][4]


The story revolves around two Parisian girls, Nathalie (Revel), a stripper at a bar, and Sandrine (Seyvecou), a bartender, who conspire to climb the social ladder of Paris when they start living together.

Both girls get fired from their jobs after the club owner offers Sandrine a choice, to have sex with a paying client or be sacked. Nathalie after finishing her shift defends and dissuades Sandrine from accepting the offer and both girls are fired. Sandrine after falling behind on her rent is sure that the landlord will kick her out especially since she is unemployed but Nathalie offers to share her apartment with Sandrine for a while.

The girls decide to climb the corporate ladder by exploiting their sex appeal and manage to get jobs as secretaries in a banking corporation with Sandrine being sent to HQ and Nathalie being sent to Human Resource Department. Their aim, to seduce their bosses and get promoted, which Sandrine accomplishes over the second in command Monsieur Delacroix after becoming his secretary. Much ambiguity surrounds Nathalie at this point in the film.

Meet Christophe, the CEO's son and future heir to the banking corporation. He is very handsome and the final target for both girls to seduce but his reputation is devastating. Having gone through many women, Christophe is ruthless and seemingly emotionless yet having the capability to seduce any woman and make her fall madly in love with him. This resulted in previous romances ending with their suicide. Yet Sandrine still is determined to conquer him even after receiving a warning from Nathalie.

Over time Sandrine, through absenteeism and reduced attention towards Delacroix, convinces him to have Nathalie transferred to his office as an assistant secretary to Sandrine since she feels overworked. The result, a threesome that evening in the office which Christophe and his sister interrupt. After being covertly disciplined, Delacroix will retain his job title and continue to work for the company but officially, on paper (to which only Christophe has access) he has been fired.

After the situation, Christophe takes Nathalie and Sandrine to a private restaurant where it is revealed that Nathalie has been Christophe's secret lover all the time both girls had been working at the bank. After flaunting his wealth, Christophe reveals his plan, to marry Sandrine with a formal wedding to convince his dying father that he is a reformed man and thus will gain complete control over the corporation. Sandrine will divorce after with a healthy settlement. Nathalie enraged by the situation does not resist in hope that Christophe loves her, even obeying his command for her and Sandrine to go to the toilets and start making love before awaiting Christophe turning it into a threesome.

Later on Sandrine is invited to Christophe's chateau for an evening of dinner with him and his sister and an incestual threesome. The evening is interrupted by Nathalie, who still believes blindly that Christophe loves her deep down. After being rejected and having a stone thrown at her head by Christophe, Nathalie succumbs to madness. The wedding is carried out at a later date and during the wedding night Sandrine and Christophe walk together through his château as a general orgy ensues. She is then carried off by guards upon hearing the news that Christophe's father has died and left him the entire corporation. She is carried off to the cellars to be gang raped by a bunch of guests whilst Christophe and his sister engage in sexual intercourse.

Later on in the evening when the events have settled down, Sandrine is thrown out in front of the main door and told by Christophe that the divorce may take several weeks. Nathalie appears with a jerry can full of petrol which she pours over herself and holds a lighter in the air. Christophe dismisses her only to be shot several times by Nathalie in her rage. She is jailed and Sandrine becomes the heir to the corporation. Years later when Sandrine is entering her limousine on the streets of Paris she recognises Nathalie, who has since married her jail guard and had a child. Nathalie and Sandrine walk over to each other and kiss each other on the cheek.


  1. ^ Roger Ebert (30 April 2004). "Secret Things". Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  2. ^ "Films of 2002". Cahiers du Cinema. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  3. ^ Gwladys Fouche and agencies (20 December 2005). "Director convicted of casting couch abuse". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Jon Henley (4 November 2005). "Director's erotic auditions 'were sexual assault'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 

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