Based on the controversial 1867 novel "Therese Racquin" by Emile Zola, debut Director Charlie Stratton faithfully captures the longing and lust of the original work. Wonderful young actress Elizabeth Olsen stars as Thérèse who, as an illegitimate child, was left by her father to be raised by her matriarchial and controlling aunt, Madame Raquin (played by the exceptional Jessica Lange).
The film plays with the corrosive quality of guilt; which is tantalizing, especially giving full reign by mesmerizing acting and lush cinematography and ingenuous period set design.
Stratton lavishes screen time on the early ardor of Thérèse and Laurent, then proceeds to loading the second half of the piece with dramatic tension.
The 150 years since its release has not dampened the taboo subject of female sexuality – this doesn’t extend or value judge this; however it just observes it in a poignant and beautiful way.