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The Skin of Sorrow - Alain Berliner - France

The Skin of Sorrow (France, 2010) by Eurochannel

Skin of sorrow

Skin of sorrow

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3 Balzac Novels Adapted to Cinema

The Skin of Sorrow (La Peau De Chagrin, 2010)

Director: Alain Berliner
Cast: Thomas Coumans, Annabelle Hettmann, Julien Honoré
Rating: TV-14
Length: 98’


When all hopes are gone, only a miracle can save a life. But what if that miracle has devastating consequences in one's life? Eurochannel invites you to travel back in time in space to 19th-century France for a intense yet fantastic drama about a man who is saved from suicide only to find his salvation might kill him as well in The Skin of Sorrow.

The Skin of Sorrow is a TV movie directed by Alain Berliner and based on Honoré de Balzac's The Wild Ass's Skin. In the film, Raphael is a depressed man bound to suicide when he is offered a magic article, a piece of skin that will grant him any wish but will shrink and take part of his time on earth. He accepts the gift and starts asking for material pleasure: money, success and women, but at the verge of his life, remembers the most important things in life.

Enriched by the outstanding acting by Thomas Coumans as the protagonist, this movie keeps viewers thrilled from beginning to end. With its dreamlike and romantic atmosphere Alain Berliner manages to deliver a true resemblance of the era the novel develops and a very accurate depiction of Balzac's novel.

Welcome to a profound and moving drama beset of joy, despair, madness, excess and love alongside a man whose deepest desire is to live life as its fullest.


It's 1832, and 22-year-old Raphaël's (Thomas Coumans) gambling has driven him to the brink of suicide. He is about to throw himself in the Seine a shopkeeper offers him something: a "skin of sorrow", which will grant all his wishes, but in doing so will shrink, as will his remaining time on earth.

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