Suppose “Clue” by the French seaside, add a splash of sleaze, crank up the queerness, and also you get “The Origin of Evil,” a catty family-fortune thriller by the author and director Sébastien Marnier.
When her landlady offers her the boot, Stéphane (Laure Calamy), a employee at a sardine-tinning manufacturing unit, contacts her estranged father, Serge (Jacques Weber), an extravagantly rich restaurateur within the vein of Logan Roy from “Succession.” Like Logan, Serge is fed up together with his parasitic kin, and behind his ailing, burly grandpa look, there’s old style alpha-dog savagery.
Serge’s kinfolk, nevertheless, are nothing just like the inept Roy offspring: There’s his ice-queen daughter George (Doria Tillier), who manages his companies; his spouse, Louise (Dominique Blanc), an impeccably coiffured, Gloria Swanson-type; and the stony maid, Agnès (Véronique Ruggia Saura).
These girls aren’t fooled when mousy Stéphane arrives on the household’s island mansion claiming to need nothing however bonding time with dad. Stéphane could also be angling for a reduce of Serge’s fortune, however so is everybody else. Marnier captures these energy performs by framing the characters in playful split-screens à la Brian De Palma.
On the mainland, Stéphane pays routine visits to her incarcerated girlfriend, whom she retains spellbound with sexual favors. Her loyalty, touching at first, grows more and more questionable.
Marnier shakes up the stability of sympathy as Serge’s misogynistic imply streak turns into obvious. Foul as they’re, Stéphane’s evil stepmother and sister could also be price rooting for. An incredible Calamy (of “Full Time” and the TV collection “Name My Agent!”) is central to the movie’s gripping uncertainty.
Abounding with nasty girls, “The Origin of Evil” may have simply been flattened by the burden of a feminist goal. Untethered from such neat messaging, this decadent murder-movie takes the web credo, “be homosexual, do crimes,” and runs with it — to scrumptious outcomes.
The Origin of Evil
Not rated. In French, with subtitles. Operating time: 2 hours 5 minutes. In theaters.