The Flower of Evil (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Flower of Evil2003

The Flower of Evil (2003)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Flower of Evil Photos

Movie Info

Co-written by Caroline Eliacheff, Claude Chabrol's La Fleur Du Mal (The Flower of Evil) concerns three generations of the bourgeois Charpin-Vasseur family. The story opens in the present day with a murder occurring during a local election and son Francois (Benoit Magimel) returning home to Bordeaux after four years in the U.S. His father Gerard (Bernard Le Coq) is a suave and successful pharmaceutical manufacturer, while his stepmother Anne (Nathalie Baye) is in the process of running for local office. Francois has long harbored a strong interest in Anne's daughter, psychology student Michele (Melanie Doutey), and - despite the fact that they are related in various ways - they begin a torrid affair. Then, right before election night, a letter appears, revealing negative information about the family's past concerning the elderly Aunt Line's (Suzanne Flon) connection to a crime dating back to WWII. La Fleur Du Mal was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival.

Watch it now


Benoît Magimel
as Francois Vasseur
Nathalie Baye
as Anne Charpin-Vasseur
Mélanie Doutey
as Michele Charpin-Vasseur
Suzanne Flon
as Aunt Line
Bernard Le Coq
as Gerard Vasseur
Thomas Chabrol
as Matthieu Charpin-Vasseur
Henri Attal
as Fanny Father-in-law
Kevin Ahyi
as First Kid
Jerome Bertin
as Volunteer
Yvon Crenn
as Yves Pouet
Jean-Marc Druet
as Lab assistant
Edmond Kastelnik
as First election official
Marius de Laage
as Second kid
Isabelle Mamere
as Journalist
Jean-Pierre Marin
as Second election official
Dominque Pivain
as Dominique
Lea Pellepaut
as Drugstore saleswoman
Valerie Rojan
as Gerard's secretary
View All

Critic Reviews for The Flower of Evil

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (25)

The strength of this movie is how it starts as a standard whodunit only to become something else: a cunning Chabrol study of incest and old money peppered with a wicked sense of humor.

April 9, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Leave reason behind, back in steerage class, and simply breathe in the foibles of the (upper) crust on this crème brûlée.

January 9, 2004 | Full Review…

Told without drama, as if this were just an ordinary family, it is the subtleties of the details that win you over.

November 28, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Each of the characters in the film is so real, so fully drawn, that you feel you know him or her as a person, not as fiction.

November 28, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

One of Chabrol's lesser works.

November 16, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Chabrol's examination of intergenerational guilt takes awhile to arrive at the station, but the characters and dialogue -- screenplay by Caroline Eliacheff -- are sophisticated and properly witty.

November 14, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Flower of Evil

A rather competent drama, but not spectacular in any way beside the absolute cuteness of Melanie Doutey, who has the sweetest and most loveable smile I ever seen on screen. The incest angle in my opinion is rather weak and sensationalized, as are the murders past and present. This story is more like a mild, luke warm cup of coffee. I just prefer mine to be stronger and hot. Not a bad watch though

alan jay
alan jay

Super Reviewer


A decent if not completely unremarkable French thriller. It isn't that there's anything wrong with The Flower of Evil, per se, but I feel like I've just spent 100 minutes watching absolutely nothing new. The themes are interesting if not completely broad, the characters are nothing special, and the humor seems oddly thin. It's a very pretty, expertly acted waste of time.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

The Flower of Evil Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features