A classic by Zola comes to screens

American readers will be reminded of the works of Émile Zola, one of France’s great novelists, when “In Secret” comes to screens next year.

“In Secret” is based on “Thérèse Raquin,” first published in 1867; some consider it Zola’s first significant novel. It’s the story of ill-matched cousins who are brought up together, married to one another by an imperious mother, and the tragedy that unfolds after the unhappy young wife embarks on a passionate affair.

From the official trailer, it looks promising: The imperious mother is Jessica Lange; Oscar Isaac and Tom Felton are well cast as the two young men in Thérèse’s life; and Thérèse herself is played by Elizabeth Olson, who grabbed critics’ attention in 2011’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”

Maybe because of its French origins, this 19th century story of desire, manipulation and guilt seems to have a little more passion than other period dramas.

“In Secret” is slated for release on Valentine’s Day 2014.



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