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There is an author who has been dumped by his girlfriend and has no inspiration for a next novel. In an attempt to find a solution to both crises, he, along with his publisher friend, decides to seduce a young woman with the singular purpose of keeping a diary of the seduction and then dump her before publishing the book about it. Unfortunately he falls in love with her. Written by
Neel V Kumar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Christian Vincent is said to be an admirer of Eric Rohmer however on the basis of this film Rohmer could learn a lot from Vincent. Although the narrative which Vincent co-wrote features some loose strands, Vincent's actors never appear to be as indulgently improvisational as those of Rohmer, nor do they ramble to the point of exhaustion. Vincent's control is necessary for this tale to work. The plot predates Neil Labute's In the Company of Men, with a womaniser seeking revenge on womankind by trapping someone only to hurt them so he can enjoy their pain. However Christian's agenda isn't as cruel as LaBute's, since the man is made to be a writer who will keep a personal diary of the progression of the affair. We also anticipate an unexpected result from the casting of Fabrice Luchini as the writer and Judith Henry as his prey. Luchini's physical plainness reinforces the double standard where he is only interested in women are look like supermodels, so when he meets Henry and finds her "hideous" when we can see that she has an Audrey Hepburn-ism charm, we're prepared. It also helps that unlike the deaf and painfully vulnerable Stacy Edwards of LaBute's film, Henry gives the impression of experience and that she is aware of Luchini's plan. The title is explained by Luchini as a form of makeup that women used to wear to hide a mole, and since Henry has a mole, at first it seems to suggest her true self will be destroyed by the contact. However a later connection is created which is more interesting where she confides something of her past to Luchini. The subtle tone of Christian's allegory is underlined by the music, Jay Gottlieb's arrangements of Schubert sonatas, and the pleasure to be had from the plan unfolding reinforced by Luchini's continual reporting back to the publisher who has agreed to produce the diary, with it's dates recorded over the scenes. Christian provides a Hitchcockian Mcguffin with an early conversation drowned out by the sound of a train, a tunnel backout for the dawning of a recognition, and the image of Henry sticking her head out of the window of a driving car.
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