The Chameleon

June 10th, 2011


The Chameleon

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Still of Marc-André Grondin in The ChameleonStill of Famke Janssen in The ChameleonStill of Nick Stahl in The ChameleonStill of Emilie de Ravin in The ChameleonStill of Famke Janssen in The ChameleonStill of Nick Stahl in The Chameleon

An FBI Agent is hot on the tracks of Frédéric Fortin who has taken up the identity of a woman's long lost son completely convincing the police and the boy's family of his identity.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 5.2/10 (687 voted)

Critic's Score: 41/100

Director: Jean-Paul Salomé

Stars: Marc-André Grondin, Ellen Barkin, Famke Janssen

The amazing true story of Frédéric Bourdin, who after having plundered all the centers for runaway minors and deliquents in Europe, even thought he has come of age, now passes himself off as Nicholas Barclay, a 13-year-old American who had vanished three years ago. To his astonishment, Nicholas's family welcomes him like their son, leaving Interpol and the FBI aghast. It is the beginning of a race against time for the investigators, family and Bourdin. But who is manipulating whom? And who is Frederic Bourdin in reality?

Writers: Jean-Paul Salomé, Christophe d'Antonio

Marc-André Grondin - Frédéric Fortin / Nicholas Mark Randall
Famke Janssen - Jennifer Johnson
Ellen Barkin - Kimberly Miller
Emilie de Ravin - Kathy Jansen
Tory Kittles - Dan Price
Brian Geraghty - Brian Jansen
Nick Stahl - Brendan Kerrigan
James DuMont - BR PD Cop A
Ritchie Montgomery - Diner owner (as Ritchie Montgomerey)
Lance E. Nichols - FBI Doctor (as Lance Nichols)
Estelle Larrivaz - Female gendarme
Xavier Beauvois - Gendarme
Lindsay Soileau - Girl #1
Katy Peppard - Girl #2 (as Katy Preppard)
Nick Chinlund - Mitch

Taglines: A son, a brother, a lover, a friend - can we ever know who people say they are?


Official Website: Official site | Official site [France] |

Release Date: 10 June 2011

Filming Locations: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Technical Specs

Runtime: France:  | (DVD)

Continuity: (At 14:33) Brendan Kerrigan (Nick Stahl) is driving a burgundy colored Camaro with a spoiler on the trunk, and (at 43:18) he is clearly driving a burgundy colored Trans Am with no spoiler.

User Review

Festival des Films du Monde, 31 August 2010

Rating: 10/10

I have seen this movie yesterday and the director went on to ask that we post reviews of his movie on this very site during the Q&A, so I shall oblige. The heart of the problem seem to be that his vision was rejected by the producers and that the final cut done by the producers is such a disgrace that he is going around in festivals to show his own cut.

When I asked him if or when the movie would be released in North-America, he answered that it would most likely go directly to DVD, which is a shame cause it really was a tense, effective thriller, faithful to the real events it depict in a stylistically gorgeous mastery. It is a psychological thriller with great actors and a subtly photographed scenery of the deep south, in the down and dirty poor neighborhood of the drugged and drunk underclass. Of course, it isn't really uplifting, but the characters are real people playing out their desperation. The narrative is well constructed and keep you interested through out, especially in the case you had no idea about the event it portrays, you'll get drawn to it only through the sheer magnetism of the central character, who also happen to be despicable in many ways, like everyone else around him.

So, let's hope you'll get a chance to see this, the way it was intended to be seen. The director's cut wasn't longish or uselessly shocking, one part that was deleted involved the main character shaving his whole body in the first scene. Perhaps, for the prude and easily upset, it could be disturbing, but isn't that key to building tension in a thriller, to disturb the audience. This first scene should be in the movie, cause it is key to the psychology of the main character. Seeing a grown man shave the hair off his chest shouldn't be cause for concern, especially these days when many men are doing it to follow a trend that made hairy men undesirable. It's a surprising scene, as it is something I never seen depicted on screen, but I don't believe it would offend neither men nor women. There is no actual nudity and very little violence in this movie.

To conclude, if you have a chance and it is playing in a festival near you, try to see it and review it too. I believe it should get to be seen and get a proper distribution. It's a solid thriller that wasn't just meant to do the festival circuit.


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