‘In Secret’ stays faithful to Zola’s novel

Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac (above) and Tom Felton and Jessica Lange (below) in director Charlie Stratton’s “In Secret,” an adaptation of Émile Zola’s “Thérèse Raquin.”
Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac (above) and Tom Felton and Jessica Lange (below) in director Charlie Stratton’s “In Secret,” an adaptation of Émile Zola’s “Thérèse Raquin.”Credit: Photos By Phil Bray

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IN SECRET

That Émile Zola was no barrel of laughs, and aside from some needed black humor, director/screenwriter Charlie Stratton doesn’t do much to lighten up the French novelist’s nihilistic naturalism in this adaptation (by way of Neal Bell’s stage version) of the still-shocking 1867 novel “Thérèse Raquin.” It begins with the injustices of “Jane Eyre,” segues into “Madame Bovary” and “Ethan Frome,” and ends up with the guilt and despair of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (Zola’s book clearly had an impact on James M. Cain’s noir classic, not to mention Theodore Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy”). Deviants pay a steep price in this tale of repression, desire, recrimination, vengeance, and remorse.

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