This adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "NANA," is about the sexual liaisons of a woman who through her relationships with different men, enjoys a life of pleasure and luxury. However, her lavish life-style does not always bring happiness.
Somewhere in Central America in 1907: Maria II is the daughter of an Irish terrorist. After her father's death, she meets Maria I, a singer in a circus. She decides to stay with the circus,... See full summary »
In the early 16th century, Italy is ruled by the powerful Borgia family, led by César Borgia and his sister Lucrètè. In a ruthless power play, César plots to have his sister's husband ... See full summary »
In Zola's Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she's Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She's an actress for a soft-core ... See full summary »
Spring inspires lessons in love and life for a French family in 1920s Ottawa, especially for teenage Robert, who's blind to the attentions of an American neighbor girl, because he's ... See full summary »
Much better if you understand the context and purpose of the story.
Following the easy defeat of the French by the Prussians in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, there were lots of recriminations on the government of Napoleon III. Many, such as the writer Emil Zola, saw it the result of over-confidence and decadence--and his story "Nana" was meant as a biting indictment against his society and government. However, most of this is missing in this 1955 version of the story-- one that looks nice but lacks the satire and underlying bite.
Nana is a stage actress of questionable talent. Nevertheless, she is a huge hit and the men of Paris adore her. While the film is a bit vague here, she clearly was a prostitute--working her way up from the streets to becoming the mistress of the rich and powerful. The story focuses mostly on a government minister, the Count Muffat (Charles Boyer) and his infatuation with this 'lady'. So, although Muffat is a champion of traditional values and family, under the influence of Nana, he's a hypocrite and libertine. And, during the course of his fling with Nana, you see that every man who comes under her spell is somehow ruined.
The obvious meanings in the story, as I said, are lost here in the film. It's a film about an alluring, selfish and amoral woman and not much more. As such, it is entertaining and looks quite nice but lacks the depth of the original tale. Good but nothing much more.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?