Innocent Lies (1995): In September 1938 a British detective comes to a small French coastal town in order to investigate the death of a colleague. Prime suspects are the members of English aristocratic family with plenty of skeletons in the closet.
I have never heard of this movie or seen it on any list of films containing incest before, so it was a real treat to watch it. The cover just happened to grab my attention because I like Stephen Dorff (he could have sensuality with a plant) and the beautiful Gabrielle Anway, who always has an innocent look about her (fitting indeed).
It looked enticing so I thought it would make a good view. I didn’t even watch it right away after downloading it, but last night I just happened to take a look at it, and skimmed through and was pleasantly surprised these two were playing brother and sister (Celia and Jeremy). It is a very brave film and deals with the subject right out in the open, it is even on the cover I was so intrigued by.
The original script was based on “Towards Zero”, a novel by Agatha Christie. When Christie’s daughter, Rosalind Hicks, reviewed the screenplay, she demanded that her mother should remain uncredited, and the character names changed. This was because of the inclusion of incest.
One of my favorite scenes is when Celia and Jeremy are sharing chocolate. They both lick from the same spoon. They spill chocolate on each others chins and lick it off of each others faces. There are a couple more great scenes too.
“We’re one person, you and I. Twins.”
“We let him see us making love. I watched him watching us. That was the best it’s ever been. Like tempting the devil.”
Not only are they getting investigated by a detective who Celia eventually falls for (why I don’t know) but Jeremy is married (although ready for a divorce) and Celia is ready to get married to husband number two! While she is trying on her wedding dress Jeremy sneaks up on Celia and startles her when he appears behind her. He loops a necklace around her neck and tells her it’s to remind her…. Celia remembers when they were children together. Celia tells him, “Jeremy, we’re not children anymore.” Jeremy undoes the back of her dress and nuzzles the back of her neck. He slips his hand around her body, under the dress, and gropes her dress.
”My little hot water bottle.”
The film itself is not bad, but they seem to skip over a lot of details and a lot of scenes could have been included that weren’t. Also the main reason for the detective to be there in the first place, to find out who killed Joe Green, remains unsolved. We are suppose to believe that Jeremy is very controlling over Celia, she is almost like a little child around him. She doesn’t seem to be in her right mind when in his company, like she is in a trance around him and doesn’t think while she is doing bad things like killing his twin or their mother. The innocent child thing is further symbolized when she always sucks her thumb after these scenes.
Fun fact, that the young Celia is played by Keira Knightley.
Their controlling, highly tensioned relationship reminded me of another recent film a saw “Deadfall.” In that film too, the borther/sister relationship is controlling and ill-fated. As are sadly, most films that contain incest like the movie is trying to make amends for having it in there in the first place.