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One of the lasting mysteries of the French, along with their ability to guzzle wine and foie gras and still look great at the end of the meal — is an innate flair to appear relaxed and gorgeous during the summer months when that sort of aura becomes all- important. In this sense, “Le Grand Alibi” is extremely instructive: a classic French summer movie drenched in golden light and peopled by slim, snarky, wardrobe- obsessed types lounging in deep chairs and taking elegant drags at their cigarettes. The film also exudes sex without actually displaying any, a ploy that envelopes the whole thing in a silken shawl of eroticism. Put ’em all together and it’s Vive la France with a vengeance.

Yet “Le Grand Alibi” is English in origin, based on an Agatha Christie novel called “The Hollow.” Reportedly, Dame Christie’s personal tastes were Continental, even if the world she created on the tip of her pen was quintessentially British. “The Hollow,” however, is an exception — heavily psychological and sexual, it studies the consequences of a homme fatale who can’t help seducing every woman he sees, usually right under the nose of his “beloved” wife. In essence, it’s the kind of story that begs for a French adaptation, and probably has a hidden French pedigree.

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