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By Doug Brunell | April 16, 2005

With “Wolves in the Snow,” Michel Welterlin has become one of my favorite directors. His film is a tense, noir-like thriller in three languages (French, English and Italian) that has more twists than a Hungarian contortionist.

The plot starts out simple enough. Antoine (Antoine Lacomblez) admits to his wife, Lucie (played by the incredibly talented Marie Jose Croze), that he has been cheating on her with a woman from his office. Lucie kills him, and then things get out of control as men start showing up demanding the money Antoine supposedly stole from them. One of the men, Ruben (Jean Philippe Ecoffey), knows Lucie killed her husband, and he plans to use that information to help her get out of the situation alive … maybe. Lucie can trust no one, however, including the suave “exterminator” Marco (Roman Orzari), who hates Ruben and has taken a fancy to a woman he may ultimately have to kill.

Once you start watching this film, you cannot stop. It is impossible to look away. Croze plays her character perfectly, and all the other actors rise to her level of skill. It’s almost as if this were the role she was born to play.

The other actors, particularly Orzari and Ecoffey, are just as believable and, in an unusual turn for a thriller, three-dimensional with actual emotions and weaknesses. It’s those little touches that make what could have been a standard film become a great movie.

It should also be noted that this film is number eight of the second volume of the Film Movement series. This is a service you can subscribe to where independent films show up in your mailbox on a regular basis. That’s a great idea for film fans, and is definitely worth checking out. At the very least, give “Wolves in the Snow” a chance. It’s a film you owe it to yourself to see.

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