A provocative erotic drama, stylishly rendered by Andre Techine, who won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this compelling investigation into the intersection of sexual and artistic passion.
A woman and three men. Nina, who's come to Paris to act and sleeps with any man at hand, meets Paulot, a young estate agent; he's smitten. She also meets Paulot's flatmate Quentin, a compulsive who stalks her. To Paulot's jealous dismay, she's willing to sleep with Quentin, and wants Paulot's friendship. After a desperate act by Quentin, Nina and Paulot share a flat, but she still won't take him as a lover; instead, her energy goes into a production of "Romeo and Juliet" directed by a detached, intense man who becomes her father figure. Quentin's ghost taunts her, Paulot wants to end all contact, and the director plans to return to London. The art of the theater may be her only refuge. Written by
So you're going to play Juliet! The tea-or-chocolate wench wants to be a princess. Alas, it's a story about love, an emotion you're incapable of feeling. You're too shallow to imagine it, too common to understand it.
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John XII 24: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains but a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." See more »
Rendez-vous (1985) was co-written and directed by André Téchiné. It's a vehicle for the now-famous Juliette Binoche.
Juliette Binoche, at age 21, already radiated the star power that became apparent to everyone in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." Unfortunately, her contributions to this film were pretty much limited to her luminous skin and her distinctive beauty. This distinctive beauty is fully and totally displayed. (Binoche is not shy.)
The film involves four men who swirl around Binoche like the proverbial moths around a flame. One is a wimp, one is a creep, and one carries a straight razor. (Don't ask). The fourth is Jean-Louis Trintignant. The other three were all young, and were probably happy to work with a well-known director like Téchiné. One can only guess why an established star like Trintignant accepted this role.
Binoche is lovely, especially when dressed in period costume as Shakespeare's Juliet. (She looks like Vivian Leigh in "Gone with the Wind.") However, she is miscast as the wide-eyed young ingénue from the provincial town of Toulouse. Binoche was born in Paris, and she just can't carry off a role in which she is supposed to have just arrived in town to "live her life." Another weak point is her reading of some of Juliet's lines at an casting audition. No actor could read lines that badly. (High school kids trying out for the senior play don't read lines that badly.)
The movie will work well on DVD, which is the way I saw it. If you love La Binoche, and you've seen every other film in which she's starred, I guess you'll have to see this one for the sake of completion. If you haven't seen all of her later films, rent one of those instead.
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