A woman's grief and her mother's madness lead to strange and unforeseen consequences in this offbeat drama based on a novel by Ruth Rendell. Betty Fisher (Sandrine Kiberlain) is a promising young writer who has a four-year-old son,… More A woman's grief and her mother's madness lead to strange and unforeseen consequences in this offbeat drama based on a novel by Ruth Rendell. Betty Fisher (Sandrine Kiberlain) is a promising young writer who has a four-year-old son, Joseph (Arthur Setbon). Betty's mother, Margot (Nicole Garcia), comes to visit her from Spain. Betty's relationship with Margot is difficult at best; Margot is emotionally unstable, and once attacked her daughter with a pair of scissors when she was a child. While spending time with Margot, Betty loses track of Joseph for a while, and the boy is severely injured when he falls out of a window. While Joseph is rushed to the hospital, he never regains consciousness and dies later that day. Betty is understandably distraught, and as she sinks deep in sorrow, Margot snatches Jose (Alexis Chatrian), a boy the same age as Joseph who is the son of Carole (Mathilde Seigner), a waitress with a serious drug habit who often delegates care of her child to her new boyfriend, Francois (Luck Mervil). Margot claims that Jose deserves a better parent than Carole, and she gives him to Betty to care for; while Betty is fully aware of the impropriety of Margot's action, the loss of Joseph has left such a void in her life that she reluctantly accepts the child as a way of dealing with her sadness. Betty Fisher et Autres Histoires was directed by one-time Francois Truffaut associate Claude Miller.
Consensus: Alias Betty works both as a gripping thriller and as a precisely drawn character study.